2019 Federal Legislative Priorities
Priority # 1: Ensure that the Census Bureau data on Alaska Natives and American Indians is accurate throughout Alaska.
Request: Increase the accuracy of the Census Bureau data by allocating sufficient resources to properly administer Census programs, implementing more efficient information technology systems and data collection methods to reduce the risk of an undercount in Alaskan communities.
Priority # 2: Respond to the severe underfunding of the Indian Housing Block Grant Program and ensure that “need” is not redefined outside of the Negotiated Rulemaking Process. Request: Continue funding an additional $100 million appropriation competitive grant program for the Native American Housing Block Grant and honor the definition agreed upon through Negotiated Rulemaking for determining “Need” for any funding administered through HUD Office of Native American Programs (ONAP).
Priority # 3: Support the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Housing Improvement Program (BIA HIP). Request: Support the BIA HIP in BIA funding appropriations to serve the lowest income population and improve deteriorating housing stock and provide low income homebuyers with down payment assistance when they qualify for a home mortgage.
2020 State Legislative Priorities
Priority #1: AAHA strongly supports the AHFC Supplemental Housing Development Grant (SHDG) in the amount of $3 million in the FY2020 Capital Budget. Because the SHDG funds no more than 20% of the costs of any particular development, the state’s investment will require at least $12 million in additional private and federal funding, a minimum return of 4:1, however, the return on the state’s investment regularly exceeds 5X the funding amount. Funding for new housing development requires assembling capital stacks from a multitude of sources of funding due to the increased material and labor costs and decreasing or stagnant Federal support. Many projects will not happen without the initial investment from the SHDG.
Priority #2: AAHA strongly urges the Governor and the Alaska Legislature to prioritize and allocate state resources to the departments and agencies responsible for coordinating the Census count in Alaska and that the Alaska Complete Count Commission is endorsed and supported by the Administration and Alaska Legislature.
Priority #3: AAHA strongly supports the AHFC Weatherization (Wx) Program in the amount of $5 million in the FY2020 Capital Budget. The Wx Program is often leveraged with additional funding by Regional Housing Authorities (RHAs). For example, one RHA received $280,000 State Wx Funding and added ICDBG funds ($600,000), IHBG funds ($90,000) and additional Tribal funds ($93,000) to expand the Wx project from 8 homes to the entire community of Clarks Point.
Priority #4: AAHA strongly supports the AHFC Senior Citizens Housing Development Grant Program (SCHDGP) for $1.75 million in the FY2020 Capital Budget. The requested amount will provide necessary “gap funding” to allow leveraging of additional funding sources. For example, a current application proposal from a RHA includes $500,000 SCHDGP funding. That is mixed with 8 other sources for a project total development cost of $13.8M. Without the SCHDGP, the other funding sources would not be leveraged and the project would not happen.
Priority #5: AAHA strongly supports the AHFC Teacher, Health Professional, and Public Safety Housing Grant Program (THHP) for $1.75 million for communities throughout Alaska to recruit and retain teachers, health, and public safety professionals. For example, a new 5-unit project consisted of State Grant Funding $328,955. The project total development cost is $1,716,813.00 leveraging the grant funding more than 4:1.
Economic Impact of Alaska Housing Authorities
2018 Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Alaska Housing Assessment </strong