10/05/11 AHFC Ranked Most Efficient Public Housing Agency in the Nation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) had the most efficient public housing program in the country during 2010. This according to a report recently published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

AHFC has managed to distribute 99 percent of the HUD subsidized voucher funds to low-income families in 13 communities statewide.

The 74-year-old program, which is part of the original 1937 Housing Act and is the only one in Alaska, issues about 4,700 vouchers that pump $2.5 million a month into 13 local economies: Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Homer, Petersburg, Wrangell, Valdez, Kodiak, Sitka, Barrow, and the Soldotna-Kenai and Matanuska-Susitna Valley areas. The $30 million HUD funded Alaska program helps low income residents pay for a portion of their monthly rent.

"The voucher program provides extremely low income families with housing choices they would not otherwise be able to afford, pumps $2.5 million each month into the private landlord marketplace in rental subsidies, and provides stable housing for Alaskan families in their community," Catherine Stone, AHFC Director of Housing Operations for the Public Housing Division says.

About 2.1 million families in the United States used housing vouchers last year, which is only 91 percent of those available for authorized use. This figure marks a lower percentage than that reported in 2004, a decline of 113,181 public housing recipients receiving assistance during a time when low-income renters faced severe housing cost burdens.

After Alaska, with the top ranking of 99 percent, Oregon and Utah came in second with 97 percent, followed by New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington with 96 percent, and Minnesota, Idaho, Colorado and New Hampshire with 95 percent. Alaska also leads the way for having the highest four-year average score of 98.75 percent, compared to the national average of 91 percent. Housing agencies in the United States have enough voucher funds this year to serve 95,772 more families than they did in 2010, according to national housing voucher data provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Part of AHFC's success with its voucher program is due to staff efforts to maximize the allocation from HUD.

"AHFC staff deserve the credit for Alaska having this high utilization rate, especially in the face of changing regulatory requirements and shifting funding levels," says Dan Fauske, AHFC's CEO and Executive Director, of the accomplishment. "They are committed and well informed about how many vouchers are in their community, what these vouchers mean to private landlords and clients, and how to get them distributed."

For more information, contact: Soren Johansson, Public Relations Manager, 907-330-8447 or sjohansson@ahfc.us.

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