More Legal Help for New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS who Face Housing, Other Discrimination

Aug 25, 2015

Legal help services around the sate receive a portion of $2.5 Million to help people with HIV or AIDS fight discrimination.

  New Yorkers with H-I-V or AIDS that risk becoming homeless might be able to get legal help from organizations around the state. In New York, over 100-thousand people with H-I-V were living in poverty-stricken environments at the end of 2013. New York State is making a $2.5-million effort to grant legal services to individuals and families affected by H-I-V/AIDS.

Legal Aid Society Representative Barbara Graves-Poller states that the legal services are necessary for the discrimination that goes against people with H-I-V and AIDS.

“What we have found in our practice is sometimes landlords don’t want to accept housing funding that’s specifically used to support people with HIV/AIDS to avoid homelessness.  So there are plenty of other forms of discrimination, including employment discrimination, but that’s something our clients often see, source-of-income discrimination, even when there is funding and support to try and avoid homelessness for this population.”

In 2013, 44-percent of New Yorkers with H-I-V or AIDS were African American and 37-percent were Latino.


With an enormous poverty rate in New York City there has always been a demand for assistance, but because of that it’s been difficult to provide services.

“It’s not always that people are denied.  It’s just that there are not enough lawyers and paralegals, to serve all of the very low income people in New York, including New Yorkers who have HIV/AIDS or families who are affected by the AIDS crisis.”

Greaves-Poller knows that many people are not aware they can get help with legal issues. Therefore, the Legal Aid Society will perform community outreach so H-I-V and AIDS individuals can reap the benefits of legal services.