AHFC Nationally Recognized for Helping Communities


Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has been honored with a 2022 Sterling Achievement Award for Homelessness by the Council of State Community Development Agencies. The national award recognizes the innovative approach applied toward AHFC’s newly launched Alaska Housing Stabilization and Recovery.

Specifically, the COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award recognizes state programs that have demonstrated, during a sustained period, positive results in improving the lives of lower income persons in the following areas:

  • Community development/economic development
  • Housing assistance
  • Homelessness assistance prevention
  • Disaster recovery

Community Collaboration

Alaska Housing Rent Relief, part of the congressionally approved Emergency Rental Assistance program, combined collaboration across state organizations and an innovative use of technology that supported the speed needed to review, approve, and quickly distribute more than $262 million in Rent Relief funds. Alaska was one of a handful of states to provide rent relief to all eligible applicants, meeting a distribution threshold set by U.S. Treasury. 

As Alaska Housing Rent Relief began to wind down, a unique opportunity to help the state's homeless population began to emerge. The technology deployed for Rent Relief included gathering large volumes of data which in turn allowed Alaska Housing to project how much money would be available post distribution. Alaska Housing petitioned U.S. Treasury to approve reallocating remaining Emergency Rental Assistance funds for its innovative Housing Stabilization and Recovery effort. 

A New Approach

Alaska Housing Stabilization and Recovery uses the same technology pioneered for Rent Relief, and includes collaboration between Alaska Housing and multiple nonprofit organizations

The goal of Alaska Housing Stabilization and Recovery is to quickly get people off the streets or out of shelters, then place them in transitional housing to address immediate needs and eventually into long-term housing. It is a uniquely holistic approach driven by client needs, not checklists, addressing the full spectrum of housing insecurities and the many issues that contribute to an individual and/or family being homeless.

Helping Our Neighbors

Extensive street outreach, shelter visits and referrals from nonprofit organizations has helped to move clients through the stabilization effort. Once securely housed, participants receive stability assistance, moving expenses, rental deposits and up to 12 months of rental assistance. Housing “navigators” are a single point of contact and work directly with clients to facilitate housing vouchers, connect them with employers, and provide other critical services to help them function in the community. 

Alaska Housing Stabilization and Recovery launched February 2022 with navigators enrolling 1,548 households into the program as of mid-September. Currently, 22 nonprofit partners representing 20 key communities statewide are participating in Housing Stabilization and Recovery.  

Alaska Housing Stabilization and Recovery results graphic.

Representing Alaska Innovation

The 2022 COSCDA Sterling Achievement Award for Homelessness was presented at the Annual Training Conference held in New Orleans on Sept. 12, 2022. The award was accepted by Donald Gotchal, a member of the Alaska Housing planning department.

The event hosted nearly 200 participants representing 39 states. Attendees had the opportunity to exchange ideas and share the various ways states are addressing common issues, as well as discuss important new initiatives of interest to housing authorities. New York, Pennsylvania, and Alaska were the three states recognized with COSCDA Sterling Achievement Awards.