One of our most important jobs here at AHFC is to provide housing opportunities to all Alaskans. However, over the last few years, our supply of affordable housing has not kept up with the growing demand. While federal assistance is decreasing, families are staying longer than they were a decade ago, and for every unit available, there are four additional families seeking assistance.
AHFC developed our rent reform programs based on an in-depth understanding of the housing needs that are unique to Alaska and an extensive study of the most successful housing programs in the nation. Our goal is to make the process simpler for Alaskans, to provide assistance to more Alaskans who need it, and to empower families in our program to become financially independent.
The Classic Program is designed to provide long-term, stable, rental assistance, while also streamlining and simplifying the subsidy calculation process. This program primarily assists families that rely on fixed income sources such as Social Security and disability income.
The Step Program is designed to provide families with a “work able” adult with opportunities to increase economic independence and transition into traditional rental or homeownership markets. Providing gateways for families to “step” off rental assistance will allow more families to take advantage of limited rental assistance dollars.
One adult in each Step Program household will be required to complete a financial literacy course by the end of the first year of rental assistance. AHFC believes this requirement will provide families some of the knowledge and skills necessary to be financially independent.
AHFC anticipates that families will face challenges and situations beyond their control that will impair their ability to pay their rent. For these instances, AHFC has developed a comprehensive hardship policy designed to address each family’s individual need.