Timely Distribution Keeps Funding In AK
While the U.S. Treasury has begun the process of reallocating funds from states that have not spent 1/3 of their initial allocation of emergency rental assistance, Alaska's funds are not in jeopardy of being recaptured.
Among the first administering agencies to accept applications in the nation, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation worked quickly to distribute allocated funds through Alaska Housing Rent Relief. As of early January 2022, AHFC has distributed more than $220 million in assistance. Nearly every qualified person who applied has had their past due rent and utilities paid, and most eligible applicants will likely continue to receive assistance through spring 2022.
Statewide Partnerships Vital To Program Success
Getting rent relief to those who needed it most — and quickly — required a collaborative approach between state organizations and community partners.
Griffin Hagel, Chief Executive Officer of Taġiuġmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority is one such partner. As the effects of the pandemic swept across the vast Arctic Slope region that his organization covers, Hagel was grateful for the expertise, connections and ready-made processes AHFC brought to the table.
“AHFC led the way demonstrating how to get things done effectively, while creating a streamlined and efficient process to get emergency rent relief funding into people’s hands where it was needed most,” said Hagle.
The Alaska Court System also played an important role by sharing guidance on eviction and information about Alaska Housing Rent Relief for those most at risk. Thanks to partnerships such as these, thousands of Alaska renters and landlords have received the assistance they need.
A Win-Win Program
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was causing a financial burden for Alonzo, a renter in Anchorage. A new baby on the way meant unpaid maternity leave and with her husband working fewer hours due to reduced demand for workers, they were scrambling to pay rent. Working with AHFC, she and her husband qualified for assistance that helped them pay the bills. "Alaska Housing Rent Relief has been a lifesaver,” said Alonzo.
While the pandemic has put financial pressure on many renters, it has been equally challenging for landlords who rely on rental income to pay for the costs of their properties. Finding a solution that worked for both landlords and renters required patience and a willingness to work together.
“As a landlord, the rent relief program has really helped both our tenant and us,” shared Ann, a landlord in Anchorage. “It has allowed our long-term tenants to stay in our rental house while allowing us to continue paying our bills for the house. It is a win-win program for both of us.”
For Alaskans across the state facing similar situations, the rent relief program has been critical in keeping people in their homes. In early December 2021, the Alaska Court System revealed that eviction filing rates have remained low after the federal eviction moratorium ended.
"Getting this assistance has been an absolute life-saver; literally and truly a relief!"
— Sasha, Anchorage Renter
Read More Stories About Alaska Housing Rent Relief
- It Feels Good To Make A Difference: Andrew Kenneson, Emergency Rental Assistance Program navigator for Kodiak Island Housing Authority, shares how has been able to directly and positively impact the lives of others.
- The Power of Partnerships: Griffin Hagle, Chief Executive Officer of Taġiuġmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority, talks about how his organization was able to take swift advantage of Alaska Housing Rent Relief, and quickly serve several dozen renters in the area.
- Neighbors Helping Neighbors — The Alaskan Way: Mindy Pruitt, executive director, Kodiak Island Housing Authority, relates the positive influence Alaska Housing Rent Relief has had in her community.
Additional Information & Resources
- AHFC provides a weekly update on the status of Alaska Housing Rent Relief, found here.
- Renters can check the status of their Alaska Housing Rent Relief application here and other resources here.
- Landlords will find importance guidance and resources here.
- Homeowners are encouraged to sign up for notification about homeowner assistance here.