May 07, 2004
"Homelessness is one of the most challenging domestic issues facing the United States as a nation," Murkowski said. "Alaska is no exception. Alaska's Faith-based and Community Initiatives Task Force found housing to be the most commonly identified challenge facing those in need."
The overarching purpose of the council will be to develop a statewide plan that would include long-term and short-term strategies to effectively address the problem of Alaska's homeless population. By developing the plan, the council would also educate all Alaskans about the difficulties the homeless face, and engage both governmental agencies and the private sector in finding solutions to the problem.
Membership on the council includes representatives of appropriate state agencies, the Lt. Governor or a designee, the director of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for Alaska or a designee, and will be chaired by the executive director of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation or his designee.
The council is directed to prepare and submit a statewide homeless Alaskans action plan to the Governor by June 30, 2005. The report will include demographic analysis on the homeless in Alaska; an inventory of current programs assisting the homeless; an analysis of current statutes relating to the homeless, and suggested changes; and short-term and long-term strategies designed to lessen homelessness over the next 10 years.
The council is also directed to conduct public hearings on the issue, and to monitor implementation of the action plan, reporting to the Governor about it annually.
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