Alaskans Can Now Apply for Rent and Utility Assistance
The application period has opened for renters to apply for rent and/or utility relief through Alaska Housing Relief, a federally funded COVID-19 response program, administered by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.
Alaska Housing Relief provides up to twelve months of financial assistance to qualifying renters who have directly or indirectly lost income or experienced increased expenses due to the pandemic and for those who live in certain unhealthy housing conditions, including overcrowding or at risk of domestic violence or sexual assault. Payments will be directed to landlords, property managers, and utility providers, with arrearages covered prior to current or future obligations.
The application process is easy and confidential. Applications are available online at AlaskaHousingRelief.org, or by calling or texting the word “relief” toll-free to 833-440-0420. Applications will be accepted until at 11:59 p.m., Friday, March 5.
“Since the start of the pandemic last year when businesses reduced their hours, laid off employees, and Alaskans absorbed additional caregiving responsibilities, they were forced to make do with less,” said AHFC CEO/Executive Director Bryan Butcher. “This funding will provide critical breathing room for both renters and their landlords (who will receive payments on their behalf), potentially avoiding a disastrous tsunami of evictions across the state.”
Alaskans were invited to check their eligibility and pre-register starting in January. Since then more than 15,000 requested notification of the Alaska Housing Rent Relief application opening.
More than $200 million was included for Alaska’s renters as part of the federal COVID omnibus relief package passed at year-end 2020. It specified that financial assistance be made available to rental households who meet certain criteria established by the US Department of Treasury. Alaskans who previously received federally funded housing assistance are eligible to participate in AHFC’s newest rent relief program.
In This Issue
Meeting in the Middle
In January, when the Biden administration announced its ban on the future sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, the news understandably ruffled the collective feathers of Alaska’s oil and gas industry.