Helping Others Through Housing Choice Vouchers

230826 JOHN HARRINGTON KLB 2136   Large

John started his career educating adults and individuals with special needs. That background continued to influence him after he purchased an apartment complex in Ketchikan and became a landlord.

Two decades ago, one of his tenants was an individual with disabilities who was eligible for Housing Choice Vouchers from Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The tenant wanted to stay in the apartment and was able to do so when John chose to help her by accepting the vouchers

Growing a Relationship with AHFC

John’s relationship with Alaska Housing has continued to grow following that first experience. After starting with one rental assistance tenant two decades ago, today 10 of his 12 units are filled with individuals who have AHFC Housing Choice Vouchers.

“By and large, my Alaska Housing tenants have longer tenancy than others," he said. "That's nice, the stability.”

‘They Make It Really Easy’

John also appreciates receiving timely and dependable payments from AHFC for tenants who receive vouchers. And when there are concerns with a tenant who may be late paying rent or other potential issues arise, John said the Alaska Housing staff has been a responsive partner.

“If somebody does start slipping behind, it’s really easy, I just talk to the staff and they tell me, ‘Well, treat them like you normally would anyone else and we’ll talk to them. It’s nice having a partner, someone to work with the clients." ​​​​

– John, Ketchikan Landlord

“I hate to get involved in the legal system for terminating tenancy. I have to on occasion, but I have only had one that was an Alaska Housing tenant in all of these years. Alaska Housing does an amazing job of hiring outstanding staff. I’ve loved all of the people that have worked for them. They make it really easy."

Changing Perceptions

As a long-time landlord, John knows there is often a stigma associated with housing vouchers. There are often perceptions about the kinds of tenants who use them or common concerns that arise.

But after more than 20 years working with Alaska Housing, he has a different perspective.

“They’re by and large great folks,” John said. “I’ve got close friends now that I’ve had as tenants for a long time. So to me the stigma is non-existent. I’ve had far more trouble with people that were not Alaska Housing participants than I have with people who were part of Alaska Housing.”

If you’re a landlord, we invite you to learn more about AHFC’s Housing Choice Vouchers. Find out how the voucher program can benefit you while providing Alaskans with safe, quality, affordable housing