“We do want to make sure we’re trying to get it into the right hands … quickly, but not so quickly that we rush ourselves into additional mistakes,” Assembly member Michelle Hale said.
It’s one more strategy local policymakers are considering toward a perennial goal to make housing more affordable in the Capital City.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has expanded the disaster declaration for the severe December storm swept through Southeast Alaska to include relief for individuals whose homes were damaged or destroyed.
Last week’s storm and landslides revealed that much of Haines, where there are no building codes, wasn’t constructed with landslides in mind.
Local housing providers say, right now, finding a safe place for homeless, at-risk and runaway youth to stay should be a priority.
The change was prompted largely by news from the grant administrator that the program appears to be vastly undersubscribed.
Three big programs are competing for what remains of the city’s CARES Act money: direct payments, business grants and housing and utility assistance.
“People lined up at City Hall before 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, waiting for the city to print out paper applications when they were available at 8,” said Catholic Community Service Executive Director Erin Walker-Tolles.
Sabrina Bracher was laid off in April. She cashed out her retirement savings after pandemic-related unemployment payments ended and says she’s going to jump on the new housing assistance program.
With temperatures dipping below freezing this weekend, local shelters must weigh the risks of staying open or closing to slow the spread of the virus.