Housing Works Sues City Over HASA Cuts
June 22nd, 2010
The city’s budget hasn’t even been approved, and they are already in court over it.
Housing Works, which provides housing services to the homeless living with HIV and AIDS, is making good on a promise to sue over cuts to the city’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration. The adminsitration plans to slash 248 caseworkers, which advocates at Housing Works say violates a court order requiring certain case worker to client ratios at the agency.
As part of the cut, the adminsitration has proposed to count caseworkers it contracts with in the mandated ratios. The city says it reduces service redundancies. Advocates charge those caseworkers play a different role than the city’s workers and counting them towards the ratio would be illegal.
“We’ve shown in the past that when they cut HASA our folks suffer tremendously,” said Armen Merjian, a senior staff attorney at Housing Works. “We donít want to wait for further devastating consequences to befall our plaintiffs.”
This statement was e-mailed over from a spokesperson at the Human Resources Administration, which oversees the HIV/AIDS program:
“The Human Resources Administration has received the plaintiffís papers and is in the process of reviewing them. However we do not believe there is any violation of the court order or the local law. Because this is now in active litigation, we will strenuously defend the authority of the Administration.”
The first motion from Housing Works, which was filed in federal court in Brooklyn this morning, is below. The state is also named in the suit.By Courtney Gross on June 22, 2010, 5:43 pm
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