AHF Explains the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative

AIDS Healthcare Foundation responds to those with questions
concerning the AIDS organization’s involvement with the ‘mega’
development ballot measure.

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a new editorial
that appears in the April 8-14 issue of LA Weekly,
Healthcare Foundation
(AHF) explains its decision to spearhead the
Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a proposed measure that will appear
on the March 2017 ballot. The measure seeks to halt runaway residential
development in Los Angeles and curtail the tendency of city officials to
circumvent the city’s General Plan to rubber stamp large-scale
developments that fail to address its well-documented affordable housing
shortage. The statement comes in response to recently published articles
that question AHF on using its resources to address local issues
regarding development, housing, and city planning. In a letter to the
editor, one LA Times reader asks: “What possible harm could the
building of these residences inflict on AIDS patients?”

In its ad, AHF responds:

At its heart, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a social justice
organization. Over the past three decades, our fight has centered on
health disparities of people living with AIDS and other infectious
diseases. Over the course of this battle, AHF has taken on many related
issues including racism, gender inequality, immigration policies and
various kinds of stigma. […] Holistic health embraces the totality of
what is required to keep someone healthy. Protecting the public health
in a broad context involves embracing a person’s full humanity.

AHF gives examples of how gentrification negatively affects the lives of
AHF’s patients and staff:

Our staff and clients are suffering because of the changes that are
taking place in Los Angeles. More and more of our patients are homeless.
Our staff cannot afford to live close to where they work and sit in
snarled traffic for hours every day. […] All the privileges are going to
the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle-income people.
Affordable housing is torn down to make way for luxury towers. Stable,
diverse communities are being displaced by expensive condos, trendy
shops and costly restaurants and bars. This is not progress—it is

As a global public health organization with international headquarters
in Los Angeles since 1987, AHF has a duty—both locally and across the
globe—to address the full scope of its patients’ health needs and
quality of life. In addition to crime and violence, housing environment
is considered
to be a key factor
in affecting human health, especially for
low-income and/or ethnic minority communities. According to a report
from Housing
Opportunities for Persons With AIDS
(HOPWA), “research and practice
have demonstrated that safe, stable housing provides the essential
foundation for successful management of HIV and other chronic diseases.”
The report also states that half of Americans living with HIV will
experience homelessness or housing instability at some point following
their diagnosis.

Through the passage of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, AHF seeks
to curb unnecessary and over-scaled residential developments that
displace low- and middle-income residents and endanger L.A.’s
underserved HIV-positive residents.

AHF generates the bulk of its revenue through its national network of pharmacies,
, and health
care centers
and does not rely on individual or group contributions
for its $1.3 billion operating budget. As a result, AHF is empowered to
pursue a diverse set of advocacy initiatives to benefit its clients and
society at large. From its frontline efforts to extinguish Ebola in West
Africa to its grassroots campaign to remove the Confederate symbol from
the Mississippi state flag, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative joins
a series of pressing social issues where AHF has taken a stand—or led
the charge for change.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
605,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.


AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea
Senior Director,
+1.323.308.1833 (work)
+1.323.791.5526 (mobile)

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