Cuts to housing and homeless service programs will affect thousands of vulnerable Alaskans
The proposed budget cuts in the Governor's FY20 amended budget will adversely impact persons and families experiencing homelessness across Alaska. Many programs are expected to close if funding is discontinued resulting in vulnerable Alaskans losing housing and essential services. The proposed budget recommends cutting nearly $11 million from four key programs.
These cuts are not the only budget proposals that will lead to more Alaskans experiencing homelessness. Any cuts to Medicaid, public assistance, legal services, or elder care will disproportionately impact low-income or vulnerable individuals reducing or eliminating successful outcomes of housing programs.
Affected Housing Programs
The Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) will be cut from $7.8 million dollars to $950,000. Thousands of Alaskans will lose access to homeless prevention supports (rental/utility emergency assistance), emergency shelter options, and the ability to be rapidly rehoused in multiple communities.
The Special Needs Housing Grant (SNHG) will be cut from $1.7 million dollars to $200,000. SNHG operating dollars and housing vouchers provide long-term rental assistance for seventeen successful housing programs targeting the most vulnerable homeless population.
The Human Services Community Matching Grant (HSCMG) & Community Initiative Matching Grants (CIMGP) funding of $2,248,700 will be eliminated. These programs provide funding to prevent and alleviate challenges for those with serious mental or physical hardships. HSCMG, in particular, is one of the only funding streams to support operations for safety net services like basic shelter and food provision
Both Continuums of Care are working together to organize a comprehensive advocacy strategy to ensure that Alaskan policymakers understand the collective impact of the proposed cuts. We believe that we must work together to address this proposed budget and welcome your partnership in this critical effort.
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