Frequently Asked Questions about AVOL’s Housing & Supportive Services Program
The purpose of AVOL’s Housing & Supportive Services Program is to provide financial assistance, case management, and supportive services to HIV-positive income-eligible individuals and families in central and eastern Kentucky.
In order to receive assistance from AVOL, you must first meet the following basic requirements:
- Have an HIV/AIDS diagnosis
- Have gross household income that does not exceed 80% of area median income (AMI)
Each type of assistance offered by AVOL may have additional eligibility criteria, and some programs have a lower income limit.
Services depend on your eligibility, your need, and available funding.
- Emergency rent, mortgage, and utility assistance
- Security deposits and first month’s rent when moving into housing
- Housing programs
- Supportive services
More details about each type of assistance are provided below.
AVOL also receives HOME TBRA funding from LFUCG & KHC, as well as United Way funding.
Private donations provide critical support to areas of programming that grants do not fund. You can help by making a donation.
Emergency Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance
STRMU is emergency homelessness prevention funding intended to assist persons with HIV/AIDS who cannot meet their monthly housing expenses due to unexpected situations related to their HIV/AIDS. STRMU can only be used to pay for rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
In addition to basic eligibility requirements, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for STRMU assistance:
- Be currently housed – assistance is provided to help homeowners and renters remain in their current place of residence.
- Be a named tenant on a lease or provide proof of homeownership
- Must have a utility account in your name or be able to provide proof of your responsibility to make utility payments (for utility assistance)
- Have a working smoke detector in your home
- Be able to demonstrate emergency need and a lack of resources to pay for housing.
Am I eligible for emergency assistance if I receive a housing subsidy like Section 8 or if I live in public housing?
However, AVOL may be able to assist you in emergency situation with non-HOPWA funds.
Because non-HOPWA funds are very limited, the maximum amount of emergency assistance a client in subsidized housing can receive during the calendar year is $500.
Security Deposits & First Month’s Rent
To be eligible for assistance with deposits and first month’s rent, you must:
- Be moving into a rental unit where rent and utilities do not exceed 80% of your household’s net income
- Demonstrate the ability to afford the new residence. In other words, your total household expenses must be equal to or less than your income.
You are only eligible for this type of assistance once in any 12 month period. The total amount of assistance received cannot exceed two months of rent.
AVOL provides several housing programs that offer medium to long-term assistance to clients who lack the income to maintain housing on their own. These housing programs include the following:
Solomon House is a community residence for people with AIDS who are unable to live on their own and require a greater level of care. Clients are required to pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent while residing at Solomon House.
Rainbow Apartments is a transitional housing program for clients who are homeless, imminently homeless, or relocating to Lexington. Clients are required to pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income towards rent while residing at Rainbow Apartments.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) operates much like the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8), where a client selects an eligible housing unit from the private market. The client then pays a portion of his/her income towards rent, and AVOL pays the remaining amount of the contract rent. The purpose of AVOL’s TBRA program is to assist income-eligible individuals and families with their rent until they are able to secure Section 8 vouchers (also known as Housing Choice Vouchers) or other affordable, stable housing.
The Shelter Plus Care Program is operated and managed by the Lexington Housing Authority (LHA), and is only available for clients in Fayette County. LHA provides Section 8 Shelter Plus Care vouchers to homeless clients referred by AVOL. LHA is responsible for rent payments, inspections, and general financial management of the housing assistance. In turn, AVOL provides case management for clients enrolled in the program.
- Bus tokens/passes (Fayette Co. only)
- Cab vouchers (only in very limited circumstances)
- Substance abuse treatment
- Mental health services
- Educational fees
- Employment assistance & training
If other funding is available, AVOL may elect to provide supportive services that are not eligible under HOPWA. Such services may be provided through direct assistance, referrals, or donations.
AVOL will also refer you to other community resources that are available to assist you when appropriate.
Intake and Recertification
- Proof of your HIV status
- Copy of your photo ID and/or Social Security card
- Proof of income for yourself and every person who lives with you, such as paystubs, award letters, etc.
- A current copy of a lease naming you as a tenant or proof of homeownership
- Copies of utility bills in your name (if you are requesting emergency utility assistance)
Information about your income and who lives with you need to be updated and verified every time you request emergency assistance.
Emergency Assistance Payments
HIV Care Coordinator Program
If you need assistance with medical issues, you should contact your HIV Care Coordinator.
HIV Care Coordination for clients in AVOL’s service area is provided through the Bluegrass Care Clinic, the Northern Kentucky Health Department, or the Cumberland Valley Health Department.
Support Group & Life Skills Seminars
AVOL hosts a support group open to all AVOL clients. The meetings are primarily socially oriented. Meetings are held at least quarterly.
Additional workshops and classes are offered regularly in AVOL’s Community Room.
Dates, times, and locations of meetings are announced in the monthly client newsletter, Happenings.
If you have a complaint, you are encouraged to first present the issue to Client Services staff and attempt to resolve the situation or difficulty.
If you believe your issue or difficulty has not been resolved following attempts to reconcile them with Client Services staff, you may contact the Executive Director by phone, but preferably in writing, stating the problem as you experienced it. The Executive Director will investigate the complaint and respond to you within five (5) business days. Complaints can be mailed to:
ATTN: Executive Director
P.O. Box 431
Lexington, KY 40588
Your Rights and Responsibilities
You have the right to:
- Receive quality services in a respectful manner without discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived: race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or expression, age, handicap, or developmental disability.
- Receive accurate and easily understood information in order to make informed decisions regarding services.
- Expect confidentiality of information, unless you consents in writing or disclosure is required/permitted by law.
- Receive timely response to your needs and requests.
- Utilize the grievance procedure if your rights have been violated.
- Refuse services and be informed of the consequences of refusing services.
- An explanation of the reasons for denial or termination of services.
You have the responsibility to:
- Provide all documentation needed to assist in enrolling in any programs or services.
- Provide only true and complete information about living arrangements, household composition, income, and all other circumstances which might impact services.
- Promptly notify Client Services staff of any changes in housing, household composition, income or other circumstances which might impact services.
- Work with Client Services staff to develop and comply with a housing plan to help achieve sustainable and permanent housing.
- Abide by the terms of your lease and applicable housing laws.
- Maintain regular contact with your medical provider and medical case manager.
- Maintain confidentiality regarding information about other clients.
- Show consideration and respect and behave in a manner which does not cause undue disruption to staff and other clients.
- Keep appointments, or notify Client Services staff if you are unable to keep an appointment.
- Inform Client Services staff immediately if you have any concerns or problems with the services you are receiving.
Termination of Services
You can be terminated from services from AVOL for the following reasons:
- You or someone involved in your case makes fraudulent claims to receive services.
- You engage in violent threats or actions directed at AVOL staff, volunteers, or other clients.
- Your failure to comply with your responsibilities or abide by program policies and regulations.
At AVOL, we value your time. If you come to the office without scheduling an appointment, we cannot guarantee that anyone will be available to assist you. If you have questions about services or need to meet with us to discuss an issue, you must call ahead to schedule an appointment.
For More Information
If you have additional questions about services, would like to become a client, or need assistance, please contact Client Services staff at:
(859) 225-3000, Ext 22 or Ext 27
You can also reach us at our toll-free number: (877) 225-9245