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Anchorage homeless plan update approved

By KTVA Alaska 7:23 AM May 8, 2014

The Municipality of Anchorage’s 10-year plan on homelessness was put into place in 2005 by the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness.

Its goal to provide area homeless with affordable housing seemed straightforward enough, but advocates say aside from housing, there are many factors pulling the homeless back to the streets.

“It includes from public health to mental health to other broad-ranging aspects of the services, and it all ties together with housing,” said Tamas Deak, Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) Commission chairman.

An update to the 10-year plan was approved at Wednesday’s commission meeting,

Nine years into the 20-year plan, the program is working, the update says. Melinda Freemon, public health division manager of initiatives and partnerships, said the development of RurAL CAP, the Karluk Manor project and at least 70 new units dedicated to low-income housing support the claim that the plan is working. But Freemon says the municipality’s work isn’t done yet.

“There is a tremendous need in our community to do more, both for special needs populations, for workforce housing, for low to moderate-income purchases of housing,” Freemon said. “There’s more work to be done and this plan gives us the momentum to keep going in these areas.”

The update to the 10-year plan that was passed Wednesday by the HAND Commission will now be passed onto the Anchorage Assembly for a vote to accept the resolution.

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