State revives money for homeless programs

Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Housing programs for the homeless received a $650,000 boost after it was discovered the money had been incorrectly deleted from former Gov. Sarah Palin's budget proposal.

The board of directors for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority approved the money and it was included in a budget forwarded to Palin's office. There, the money was apparently compressed into a smaller sum with another pool.

David Teal of the Legislative Finance Division said the lapse escaped everyone's attention until after the April legislative session.

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee approved the funds at a Friday meeting. It will allow the trust authority and Alaska Housing Finance Corp. to accept grants for an estimated $3.5 million to $5 million from entities interested in helping the homeless.

The money had already been budgeted for the homeless housing efforts, so it doesn't count as new state spending.

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