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AHF Sues L.A. Housing Dept. to Prevent Closure of AIDS Site
Date:2/24/2008

Former AIDS Hospice Now Serves as HIV/AIDS Care Hub

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced its filing of a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) for breach of contract and for a "judicial determination" regarding the validity of a years-old loan agreement between LAHD and AHF, the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. The loan allowed AHF to construct Linn House, an AIDS hospice care facility in Los Angeles. Thanks to the advances in medical treatment, that hospice use is no longer needed, and AHF now uses the facility to provide other crucial HIV/AIDS services. LAHD, however, is insisting on what AHF believes are outdated, inequitable and unenforceable hospice restrictions. AHF filed the legal action (which was first reported in a news story in today's Los Angeles Times) in Superior Court for the State of California in Los Angeles earlier this month after lengthy negotiations with the City and LAHD failed to amicably and equitably resolve the issue. This lawsuit followed a threat by City officials to initiate foreclose proceedings on the facility if AHF does not immediately repay the $1.1 million loan plus interest. Under the terms of the 40-year loan, the money is not fully payable until after the year 2030.

"We have repeatedly tried to come to an agreement with the City on this issue, offering several practical and fair solutions and compromises, but it appears that City and Los Angeles Housing Department officials including LAHD General Manager Mercedes Marquez are insist that the site be used as an AIDS hospice, services that are no longer relevant to the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS today in Los Angeles -- a classic bureaucratic response that defies common sense," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Through its actions, the Los Angeles Housing Department ap
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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