Governor Dunleavy’s FY2020 budget Vetoes will decimate state housing and homeless service programs
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On June 28, 2019, the Governor announced several line item vetoes which will adversely impact persons and families experiencing homelessness across Alaska. Many programs are expected to close if this critical funding is discontinued resulting in vulnerable Alaskans losing housing and essential services. The budget cuts nearly $10 million from four key programs.
These cuts are not the only cuts that will lead to more Alaskans experiencing homelessness. The cuts to Medicaid, senior benefits and other services 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 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 $3.7 million to $1.7 million. 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
These funds can only be returned to the budget through a legislative override of the line item veto for each of these programs.
Both Continuums of Care are working together to encourage communication from service and housing providers, community members and those impacted by these cuts. We intend to ensure that Alaskan policymakers understand the collective impact of the proposed cuts. We believe that we must work together to address this shared crisis and welcome your partnership in this critical effort