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New Guidance for Housing Officers on HIV

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NAT and Shelter set new approach for assessing housing need

NAT (National AIDS Trust) has today launched a guide about HIV for housing officers. The guidance, produced in partnership with Shelter, follows a report1 in January which revealed evidence of poor practice in housing provision for people living with HIV. Research shows inappropriate housing has a detrimental effect on the health of someone living with HIV, with potentially life-threatening consequences.

HIV and housing: a practical guide for housing officers on HIV and its impact on housing needs sets out a new approach for assessing the housing needs of someone with HIV. It is designed to enable professionals involved in housing allocation and support to understand HIV and its effects. 
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:
“Evidence shows people living with HIV are still struggling with the impact of poor housing and discrimination, much of which is caused by a lack of understanding about HIV. As the number of people living with HIV in the UK continues to rise, it is increasingly important that all housing officers know how HIV affects housing needs. This new guidance will enable housing officers to make correct assessments, which we hope will ultimately improve the quality of life for many people with HIV in the UK.”
Mark Thomas, Head of Policy at Shelter, said:
"Bad housing has a serious impact on people's lives and this is further exacerbated if they are also dealing with a long-term health condition. Whether it is access to social housing, tackling homelessness or supporting people to stay in accommodation, the particular needs of someone living with HIV must be taken into account."
The Guidance is also supported by the Charted Institute of Housing (CIH). Richard Capie, Director of Policy and Practice at CIH comments:

 “People living with HIV may experience a complex range of needs at different times in their life. It is important that housing professionals have a clear and up-to-date understanding of how to work with service users who are living with HIV to ensure their well-being and to maximise their life opportunities.”
Visit Housing Information and Resources to download the guidance.  A hard copy can be ordered by emailing

Notes to the Editor:

1 - HIV and Housing, January 2009 is available to download at:"/publications/Housing.aspx
For further information please contact:
Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299
Chartered Institute of Housing
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the professional body for people involved in housing and communities. We are a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. We have a diverse and growing membership of over 22,000 – both in the public and private sectors – living and working in over 20 countries on five continents across the world. Our members work for local authorities, housing associations, Arms Length Management Organisations, Government bodies, educational establishments and the private sector. Many tenants and residents are also members. We exist to maximise the contribution that housing professionals make to the wellbeing of communities. Further information is available at:

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
Shelter would urge anyone having problems with their housing situation to get proper independent advice. Visit or call Shelter’s free housing advice line on 0808 800 4444 for more information.