Bryan Butcher on COVID-19 and Housing
The spread of (COVID-19) coronavirus underscores the importance of us delivering on our mission to “provide Alaskans access to safe, quality and affordable housing.”
I’m grateful for the partnership we share with you, whether you work in homeless prevention and treatment programs, as one of our landlords, an underwriter, at a government agency, as an Alaskan who trusts us as the investor in your loan, or as one of our employees.
Health and well-being of our tenants, partners and employees is always our priority, and we are actively responding to the people we serve, where they live. More than 12,000 Alaskans sleep in public housing every night and thousands more have home loans where AHFC is the investor.
State leaders are increasingly discussing the economic situation, including how those who were living on the margin are being impacted. Late last week our congressional delegation voted unanimously in favor of the federal CARES bill that among other provisions provides short-term relief from foreclosure. The state legislature followed suit with Senate Bill 241, temporarily prohibiting certain foreclosures and evictions from rentals due to financial hardship.
My message to you is simple. While we follow and encourage adherence to CDC and DHSS guidelines, we take the COVID-19 public health crisis seriously. Our staff in public housing is vigilant about extra cleaning and sanitization measures, and residents have been asked to minimize person-to-person contact. Our staff across the state is responding to the public by email or telephone. We are balancing day-to-day needs of our clients with best practices to protect our communities.
The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services remains the best way to stay informed about health practices and community updates. Visit coronavirus.alaska.gov, and rely on 2-1-1 for community resources.
I wish you and your family good health. Now’s the time for us all to be neighborly from a distance. Check in on loved ones and call your mom.