Governor Fast-Tracks Homeless Funding
On March 16, 2020 Governor Dunleavy signed HB 206 that included Homeless Assistance Program funding. Two days later, Alaska Housing’s Planning department sent grant agreements totaling $7.2 million to 35 nonprofit providers in 13 communities that provide emergency or transitional housing and/or services to prevent homelessness or rehouse those who have been displaced.
Homeless Assistance funds are usually distributed in June but due to early passage of the budget bill and forecast impact of financial hardship on Alaskans due to COVID-19 that would stress agencies ability to provide services, the Planning department responded with unprecedented speed.
“These organizations are serving Alaskans when they’re most vulnerable,” says Bryan Butcher CEO/Executive Director of AHFC. “Many people don’t know that 21% of families served through our programs in 2018 and 2019 were those with children younger than 18. Almost 13% of families served were victims of domestic violence. Getting funding to agencies at this stressful time in our state’s history is monumental,” said Butcher.
The Homeless Assistance Program is often used along with the Special Needs Housing Grant program and is supported by a long-time collaboration with Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.