Alaskans who lost income have until Friday night to apply for up to $1,200 in mortgage and rent relief that was made possible through the federal CARES Act responding to COVID-19 hardship. AlaskaHousingRelief.org accepts applications until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020.
As of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, 5,083 applications were submitted through the website, telephone and text. Each household represents an average of 2.83 members, totaling 14,383 individuals applying for relief. Based on applicants’ self-reporting, their average annual income loss is $21,992 per household with an average monthly housing payment of $1,417 for homeowners or $1,104 for renters.
“When the community hunkered down, it paused economic activity. Friends canceled their planned summer vacation to the state. I postponed a haircut. My family stopped dining inside restaurants. My mom delayed her trip to the nursery for spring flowers. Every one of these examples of delayed spending represents an Alaskan who lost income because of the (corona)virus. They are potentially eligible for the housing relief. I encourage them to apply before Friday’s deadline,” says Bryan Butcher, CEO/Executive Director of Alaska Housing.
The majority of users (69%) to AlaskaHousingRelief.org have submitted applications using their mobile phones based on referrals from social networking sites. It then takes only five minutes to complete an application online or they can do it by calling or texting RELIEF to (833) 440-0420.
Next week Alaska Housing plans to randomize all applicant names who will then be contacted for verification of loss of income and contact information for their mortgage servicer or landlord. Payment will be made directly to the mortgage servicer or landlord on behalf of the recipient in late July and August. The combination of funding available and program criteria will allow AHFC to serve between 8,000-12,000 households.
Alaskans are eligible for the program if they lost income due to COVID-19 and are at less than 80% of Area Median Income following their layoff or reduction in hours, and they are eligible to receive up to one month of rent or mortgage relief not to exceed $1,200 per household. Mortgage relief includes principal and interest only; rent relief excludes utilities. A total of $10 million was made available by Governor Dunleavy and the legislature for housing relief as a prevention measure to homelessness.