HOPWA Tenant Based Rental Assistance

The tenant-based long-term rental subsidy program under HOPWA serves low income persons with an AIDS diagnosis who require assistance with rental payments for an extended period of time (the program is hereafter referred to as the Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA).  The goal of the program is to assist program participants in achieving and maintaining housing stability so as to avoid homelessness and improve their access to, and engagement in, HIV treatment and care


  1. You must be a resident of Miami-Dade County or will be taking residence in Miami-Dade County.
  2. You must have received a medical diagnosis  of AIDS, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In the case of a family unit applying for HOPWA assistance, one (1) or more of the family members (regardless of age) must have AIDS.
  3. Your income, or in the case of a family, the family's income, must not exceed 80% of the medium income for the Miami-Dade EMSA. In calculating income, the HOPWA counts the income of all family members.
  4. You may apply as an individual or as a family. A family is a household composed of two (2) or more related persons with at least one person diagnosed with AIDS. Persons in a family may be related by ties of blood, marriage, or other legal sanctions or deemed to be important to the care or well-being of the household member with AIDS.


The housing assistance program provides eligible households with ongoing rental assistance, subject to continued eligibility and the availability of HOPWA funds.  Program participants must pay a portion of the rent, usually 30% of their monthly adjusted household income. The TBRA program pays the difference. Program participants select their own rental housing (similar to the Section 8 Housing Choice Program) within Miami-Dade County limits, however, the unit must pass a housing quality standard inspection and the asking rent cannot exceed the HOPWA rent standard for Miami-Dade County (100% of the annual Miami-Dade Fair Market Rents established by U.S. HUD). Participants' income eligibility must be recertified annually and the rental units must pass re-inspection each year.


The availability of funds and the opening of the application period is advertised periodically in a general circulation newspaper with citywide coverage at least 15 days prior to the acceptance of applications. Once the application period expires, all applications are entered in an electronic spreadsheet. This information is then used to generate a random lottery which determines the order of the waiting list. Once the waiting list is established, all applicants who qualified for the wait list will be informed, in writing, of their waiting list number. Receiving a waiting list number does not directly qualify the applicant for the program.


Clients participating in theTBRA Program receive the support of Housing Specialists whose primary responsibilities are to perform initial eligibility verification, enroll clients into the program and conduct annual re-certification, provide assistance to clients in understanding and completing leases, and serves as a liaison between the client and landlord in lease negotiation or in case of disputes.  The Housing Specialist also serves as a liaison between the client and Ryan White, PAC Waiver or other social service case manager to ensure that the client receives the necessary services to maintain independent living and that the client remains engaged in case management, health care and other support services.  The Housing Specialist also shall assist an eligible person to locate affordable, suitable housing when the need arises.