Alaska Well-Positioned for End of Eviction Moratorium

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With an established and streamlined rent relief assistance program firmly in place, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is poised to efficiently move forward and address concerns raised by the recent Supreme Court ruling ending the eviction moratorium.

AHFC’s robust rent relief program, which began in February 2021, has served nearly 50,000 Alaska residents and more than 19,000 households. The program, part of the federal COVID-19 relief package passed at year-end 2020,  offers a viable path for protecting vulnerable tenants from eviction by providing direct payments to qualifying landlords and utility companies. Of the $242 million of federal funds allocated to the state of Alaska processing, AHFC has distributed more than $114 million to date with eligible applicants receiving commitments for up to 12 months of rent and/or utility relief.

While many tenants across the country fear the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, AHFC is looking ahead to launch the next phase of its rent relief program and continuing to develop unique facets with impact, such as AHFC’s applicant certification letter, designed specifically to help to divert evictions.

“We took an Alaska-first approach that addresses the complexities associated with both urban and rural-Alaska communities while problem-solving the direct and immediate impact to households because of the pandemic,” says Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director of AHFC.

Nearly everyone in Alaska who applied for relief and has provided the required documentation has had their past due rent and utilities paid, with up to three months of additional future assistance available and paid through Alaska Housing Rent Relief.

More than 130 Rent Relief Specialists continue to contact Alaskans with outstanding applications to resolve past-due amounts with landlords and obtain payment routing information for utilities, among other key requirements.

Key to Alaska Housing Rent Relief's success is our relationship with many regional housing authorities that represent 148 Alaska Native tribes, and our nonprofit processing partnersCatholic Social ServicesLove in ActionLove INCValley Charities, and Brother Francis Shelter Kodiak, along with the Municipality of Anchorage.

“Alleviating the stress and fear of eviction while also making timely payments to landlords who were struggling to make ends meet during this crisis was our singular focus,” said Butcher.

A recent Wall Street Journal report showed Alaska among the top five states leading the nation in fund delivery, with payments going directly to landlords and utility companies and Alaska renters being among the first to be approved for assistance. Funds are allocated in 90-day increments in accordance with the federal legislation. The process requires tenants to certify their continued hardship every 90 days, with approved funds paid directly to the landlord and/or utility companies.

Alaskans in need of rental assistance should sign up on the waitlist now at: https://www.alaskahousingrelief.org/. All applicants will be notified during the next application opening, Monday, Sept. 13-Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.