More Help Paying Back Rent

Mar 14, 2021

Credit Interior Regional Housing Authority

Monday, March 15 is the deadline for another housing relief program. Last week, we told you about a program for Alaska renters impacted by the pandemic. If you missed applying for that program, renters in the Interior can apply today with the Interior Region Housing Authority.

IRHA, the Interior Regional Housing Authority is helping folks with another chance to apply for rental assistance, and the deadline is Monday (March 15.)

IRHA is one of Alaska’s tribally-designated housing entities. Normally, they are helping renters and homeowners through NAHASDA, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act.

But applications for this program are pandemic-related and a little more open -  Programs Officer, Annie Silas, says it is not only for tribal members.

“Everybody is eligible. It doesn’t have any kind of preference who applies, because it is from the Department of Treasury. The only thing is they have to be under the 80% income, and only renters.”

To qualify for the money, a household must show there has been a significant reduction of income, or increase in costs or other financial hardship due to COVID-19…especially if that has made their housing situation unstable. Applicants in the Fairbanks area can’t be making more than $74,480 since hit by the pandemic. That income limit is a little bit less in Delta and Tok and a little bit more in Healy and Denali Park.

The Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program sent about $100 million for tribal housing authorities in Alaska to help renters pay back their landlords.

“It was a very big shock to us that we got as much funds as we did.”

The Interior Regional Housing Authority got about $9,000,000 of that. That’s enough to provide 12 months of back rent and utilities for 500 families who pay $1,500 monthly. It is not a loan – renters do not have to pay it back. https://irha.org/emergency-rental-assistance-application/

Silas says details about the program are on the IRHA website, but they also offer telephone help.

We have our website open with our application online, and a .pdf for people to download and print and complete their application for this Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program.”

Now, this is going to sound like you’ve heard this before, because the same terms were offered to renters from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. They had an application deadline in the first week of March. Silas says IRHA intentionally posted a later deadline so renters could make sure they weren’t double-dipping.

“So that’s one thing we wanted to make sure we weren’t doing, is that, if somebody applies here, they didn’t already get served at AHFC.”

The federal coronavirus-relief law that distributed the money is especially interested in helping renters who have received an eviction notice, or who might be at risk of domestic violence, or are putting off buying essentials like food or medicine or childcare, or are relying on credit cards and racking up debt to pay bills.

To apply, go to www.IRHA.org or call 907-328-3237 or  833-452-8315.