Families Displaced by Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault
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The Empowering Choice Housing Program (ECHP) is a referral-based, transitional rental assistance program designed to meet the housing needs of families displaced due to domestic violence and sexual assault. This program is available in every AHFC community that administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
In the communities of Bethel, Cordova and Nome, where AHFC does not operate voucher programs, referrals will receive preferential placement on the Public Housing waiting list.
Who is Eligible
Family income must be at or below 50 percent of the area median income. Income limits are set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and are based on family size and the community where the family resides.
ECHP recipients must be referred to AHFC by an approved Domestic Violence Sexual Assault program named in the Memorandum of Understanding . While participating in ECHP, families may still submit an application for any AHFC program with an open waiting list.
How it Works
As vouchers become available, families are invited to a briefing session, provided detailed information about the program and issued a voucher. Rental assistance through ECHP is limited to 36 months.
To receive voucher subsidy, the rental amount for the unit must be reasonable. The unit must also pass a federal housing quality standards inspection. Landlords may use their own lease, but AHFC requires an initial lease term of one year.
Once a family finds and leases an AHFC-approved rental unit, AHFC breaks the rent into a family portion and a subsidy portion. Families are responsible for paying their portion of the rent directly to their landlord, while AHFC pays the subsidy portion directly to the landlord.
How to Apply
Families must be referred to AHFC by an approved Domestic Violence Sexual Assault program (see the ECHP Memorandum of Understanding, page 5).