Up to $1,200 of Housing Relief Available for Qualifying Alaskans
Apply before the June 26, 2020 deadline at AlaskaHousingRelief.org
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Alaska Housing Finance Corporation jointly announced today eligibility requirements and the process for Alaskans seeking financial relief from their rent and mortgage obligations.
$10 million was proposed by the Governor and supported by the legislature for AHFC to use for homeless prevention with a focus on Alaskans who lost income due to COVID-19 and without government assistance may otherwise lose their housing to eviction or foreclosure.
“Our data shows that it’s better to keep Alaskans stably housed through prevention efforts both in terms of their mental and physical health but also as a cost effective measure,” says Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director of AHFC.
Families in Alaska with households that have lost income and are at less than 80% of Area Median Income as a result of COVID-19 are eligible to apply for up to one month of rent or mortgage relief. Rent relief excludes utilities; mortgage relief includes principal and interest only. Each household is eligible for no more than $1,200.
Alaskans can learn about program requirements at AlaskaHousingRelief.org. The application period begins Monday morning, June 15. A basic questionnaire includes the applicants’ name, primary residence address, and certification of loss of income. The deadline for application submission is June 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., AKDT. At closure of the application period, a lottery will conducted.
“AHFC’s lottery system is based on best practices in their public housing management and ensures that regardless of where Alaskans live, they’ll have equal access to this housing relief. For those unable to access the online application, calling or texting ‘RELIEF’ to (833) 440-0420 offers an alternative,” says Governor Dunleavy.
Based on available funding, recipients will be asked to provide additional information that verifies their loss of income and includes contact information for their landlord and/or mortgage servicer. After submission of the required information, AHFC will make payment to the landlord or mortgage servicer on behalf of the recipient. Payments distribution is targeted for July 2020.
AHFC’s Housing Relief Program
Program Background: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation received $10 million through the RPL process to help prevent homelessness across the State of Alaska. Governor Mike Dunleavy signed House Bill 313 Ratifying RPLS/COVID-19 funding on May 22, 2020.
AHFC has developed a program that offers both rent and mortgage relief, and is intended to serve the greatest number of Alaskans as quickly as possible while also adhering to U.S. Treasury guidance and responsibly distributing funds to those in need.
Program Summary: Alaskans experiencing loss of income due to COVID-19 can apply for up to one month of mortgage or rent relief not to exceed $1,200. This is not a first-come, first-serve program. The application window will open June 15-June 26, 2020.
AHFC will pool all names using an established best practice in public housing then run a randomized statewide lottery. Those at the top of the lottery will be required to provide AHFC with information that verifies their identity, loss of income that occurred as a result of COVID-19, proof of monthly rent or payments that go toward mortgage principal and interest, and information about their landlord or mortgage servicer so payment can be made on the recipients’ behalf. Payment will be made to the landlord or servicer.
Timeline: Alaskans can learn more about program eligibility at AlaskaHousingRelief.org The website will begin accepting applications on Monday, June 15, 2020, and will accept them through 11:59 p.m. AKDT on June 26, 2020. First payments are scheduled for distribution in July.
Eligibility: Renters or Homeowners in Alaska who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and whose household income is now less than 80% of Area Median Income. See this link to determine income eligibility in each community. Only one application is permitted per household. Families receiving public housing assistance from AHFC are not eligible for this program but may receive rent relief under another program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. See this link.
Application Acceptance Process: Following submission of their initial application, Alaskans will receive a confirmation notice by the email or text address they provided. The window to apply for housing relief closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 26, 2020. The lottery will be conducted the following week and participants will be notified as funding is available.
More Information and To Apply: AlaskaHousingRelief.org or call or text RELIEF to (833) 440-0420.
In This Issue
Alaska Problems Require Alaska Solutions
On January 16, a fire destroyed the water plant and washeteria in the southwest Alaska village of Tuluksak. For the village of about 350 people, it was a devastating blow. The water plant was the only source of drinking water in the village, in which the primarily Yup’ik residents lack indoor plumbing and rely on honey buckets, not uncommon in the flat, swampy region.