HIV/AIDS patients in NYC forced to choose between paying for rent or basic needs

 

Wanda Hernandez is one of many New Yorkers with HIV struggling to pay rent and for basic needs. Bess Adler, Metro
Wanda Hernandez is one of many New Yorkers with HIV struggling to pay rent and for basic needs. Bess Adler, Metro

Every month, Wanda Hernandez considers whether to use her cash for bills, rent or possibly medical care.

Having lived for 15 years with HIV, Hernandez, 50, has chronic pain blocking her from work. But the largest chunk of her disability assistance goes toward the $1,000 rent for her 1-bedroom in the Bronx, near Arthur Avenue.

“I have to choose between paying my Con Ed or my rent, basically,” she told Metro.

She is one of many HIV patients who use have to use more than 70 percent of their disability income on rent, according to a new study by VOCAL-NY, which helps people with HIV/AIDS, and the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project.

As a result, thousands become homeless, unable to afford rent checks, the Friday report said.

Study organizers say that a state bill would protect them by ensuring they pay no more than 30 percent of their disability income toward affordable housing rent.

In the study, more than two-thirds of people said they decided between rent and necessities like medical care in the six months before losing their apartment.

And one in three struggled to pay medical expenses, the study revealed.

“Those living with HIV/AIDS should not have to choose between their medication and housing,” Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez said.

After rent, Hernandez has about $340 monthly, she said, or about $12 a day — scraped together for food, utilities and unexpected expenses like recently dropping her phone in the toilet.

She can’t get to her medical appointments sometimes because she can’t afford the Metrocard.

Con Ed shut off her lights last week, she said, and she faces a hearing Tuesday about possible eviction.

“I am very petrified,” she said. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be.”

Before, she worked two places, going from an administrative assistant position to a bar job at night. Now, she is not sure how to move forward.

“I haven’t broken down yet,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that I’m superwoman, but I do have my point, when I break down.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.