Barry Hers Offers an Insight Into New York City’s Hasa Housing Programs
Originally established as the HIV/AIDS Services Administration, Barry Hers shares details of his three decades of support for HASA’s vital housing programs.
Providing safe, clean accommodation for those suffering from AIDS and HIV-related illnesses, HASA’s housing programs in New York City are supported by local property investors, landlords, and real estate professionals such as Barry Hers. Based in Brooklyn, Hers offers an insight into what has grown to become one of NYC’s most vital housing programs as he shares more about his three decades of support for the city-wide organization.
“I first became involved with HASA, or the HIV/AIDS Services Administration as it was then known, shortly after its inception,” reveals Hers, who owns properties across the city, including 60 Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn and a further, nearby address on Flatbush Avenue, among others, “and was one of the first landlords in New York City to do so.”
Established at the height of New York City’s HIV and AIDS crisis during the 1980s and early 1990s, HASA’s varied range of initiatives—which today includes assistance in helping to apply for services such as Medicaid, transportation and cash assistance, mental health and substance abuse screening, treatment referrals, and employment and vocational services—quickly grew to include programs tailored toward providing safe, clean housing for those suffering from AIDS and HIV-related illnesses.
“This is where I was able to lend the biggest hand,” explains Hers, “dedicating apartment buildings and other properties—which I’d put my own money, blood, and sweat into renovating and maintaining at a cost of many millions of dollars—to good causes, such as HASA, which operates confidential offices and housing programs across all five New York City boroughs.”
Around the same time, Barry Hers had also become involved with other housing programs in New York City, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program, initiated and further supported by New York City mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, has seen properties such as Hers’ building at 60 Clarkson Avenue become a form of rent assisted shelter for less fortunate families and individuals living in the city.
“Since the early 1990s, I’ve housed hundreds of families and thousands of people who have found themselves in need of help, either financially or as a result of serious illness, including AIDS and HIV-related conditions,” reveals Hers.
“As a family man, I’ve simply never been able to bear the thought of other families being homeless,” he adds, wrapping up, “and, furthermore, I’m also immensely proud to have been able to help those who are sick and in need of housing assistance in New York City via programs such as those run by HASA.”
For more information regarding HASA, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/hiv-aids-services.page