One Million for You Group, One Million for My Group

Conflict-of-interest allegations force a recount in the divvying-up of federal AIDS funding

The Coalition for the Homeless, which was one of the first local agencies to address housing needs for people with AIDS, received 1992 and 1993 HOPWA funding, but had little or no competition for the money because few agencies were supplying housing assistance specifically to AIDS sufferers at that time, according to Donna MacDonald, the coalition's executive director. An original member of the HOPWA advisory board, MacDonald resigned in 1993 because, she says, she had become uncomfortable with requesting funding from the very board she sat on. Though the conflict-of-interest issue is at the center of their complaint, MacDonald and Gale Lucy also object to several other technical aspects of the process, including some of the criteria for evaluating funding applications, as well as the board's decision to eliminate the usual five- or ten-day grace period for supplying documentation that is deemed missing from an application. Having requested and obtained copies of the 41 original applications, they also found that all but one of the four submissions selected by the board was missing at least one piece of documentation.

Now that the coalition and other organizations will have a second chance at the federal millions, MacDonald and Lucy might be expected to feel vindicated. But they fear their protest riled so many in the AIDS community that their new application may be denied, owing to bad blood if nothing else.

They might be right.
"The coalition and the city caused this," says Tim Koontz. "I think it's sour grapes, and I hope they don't get in under the new

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