Relief for Paying Past-due Rent and Utilities
Friday is the deadline for a relief program that could pay up to a year’s worth of rent and utilities for renters impacted by the pandemic. The state received more than 200 million dollars to prevent folks from being evicted.
APPLY BY 11:59 PM, FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2021.
To see if you qualify and to submit an application, go to AlaskaHousingRelief.org, or
Call or text “relief” to 1-833-440-0420 toll-free.
The money came from the Coronavirus relief bill Congress passed last December , which included at least $200 million for rent relief for Alaskans. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation or AHFC is taking applications at their website: alaskahousingrelief.org until this Friday at 11:59 p.m.
Stacey Barnes works for AHFC and says if renters are struggling to pay rent or utilities, or they owe past rent or are worried about eviction, this money is for them. It’s specifically for lower-income households financially impacted by COVID-19.
“In the Fairbanks area, the maximum income that the household can make is $74,480 - post the COVID event. A year ago, they could have been making much more than that. But as a result of the pandemic they may now qualify for this program.”
That income limit is a little bit less in Delta and Tok and a little bit more in Healy and Denali Park.
“The eligibility checker on the website will also help people; you don’t need to know off the top of your head, how much money you made last year. The website is designed to make that as easy as possible. ”
More than 21,000 Alaskans have applied so far, many on their smart phones. Barnes says a lot of Alaskans applied for rental relief in a separate program last year that was able to give renters two months’ of money, and those people can apply for this program as well.
“Our commitment to Alaskans is we are taking care of arrearages first. If you’re behind on your rent, that’s something we are going to be able to pay your landlord on your behalf – up to a total of 12 months.”
The alaskahousingrelief.org application is also for folks in overcrowded homes, where someone has moved in together because of the pandemic, or unsafe situations; where there might be domestic violence.
“If we can just encourage them to visit the website to check their eligibility, who knows what good can happen in their life because they have housing stability.”
But it is not for landlords. Barnes says there is some AHFC help for property owners, and there may be more soon.
“We’re not able to provide mortgage relief, but we know that is part of the national conversation that’s occurring.”
Over the weekend, the US House passed another $1.9 trillion relief package – that bill is now in front of the US Senate.