Legislature Widens Pool for Senior Housing Development Grant Funds (HB 65)
HB 65 adds Regional Housing Authorities to AHFCs Eligibility List
Friday, April 06, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – With a unanimous Alaska Senate vote, the 27th Alaska Legislature today passed a bill that will benefit senior citizens across the state by including regional housing authorities in the eligibility pool for receiving housing development grants.
Rep. Bryce Edgmon sponsored the bill, House Bill 65, along with fellow Bush Caucus members Reps. Bob Herron, Neal Foster and Reggie Joule.
“Senior Citizen Housing Development Fund grants often provide the ‘gap funding’ that allows projects to go forward,” Edgmon, D-Dillingham, said. “I’m hoping that HB 65 will result in more senior housing plans getting the green light, so that elders in every region of the state will benefit.”
HB 65 adds the state's 14 regional housing authorities, spanning from Ketchikan to Barrow, to the list of entities eligible for grants through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Senior Citizens Housing Development Fund, or SCHDF. The fund contributes to organizations that develop quality housing for older Alaskans. Previously, the grants were available only to municipalities and 501(c)(3) and (4) nonprofits.
"Senior citizens are the fastest growing segment of the state’s population,” Edgmon said. “And our housing authorities are among the most experienced builders of affordable housing in Alaska. They are expert at identifying and planning for communities’ needs, and they routinely build to high energy-efficiency standards with the long-term sustainability of a project always a priority.”
HB 65, which passed the House unanimously last February, now goes to the governor for his signature.