Empowering Choice Housing Program

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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, AHFC does not operate a voucher program. In those communities, AHFC offers preferential placement on its Public Housing waiting list for referrals.

Who is Eligible

Family income must be at or below 50 percent of the area median income. Income limits are set by HUD and are based on family size and the community where the family resides.

ECHP recipients must be referred to AHFC by an approved DVSA program named in the Memorandum of Understanding (see below). 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 is limited to 36 months.

To receive voucher subsidy, a unit’s rent must be reasonable. The unit must also pass a federal housing quality standards inspection. Landlords may use their own lease, and 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 pay their portion of the rent directly to their landlord. AHFC pays the subsidy portion directly to the landlord.

Memorandum of Understanding

ECHP is a unique rental assistance program made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding between AHFC, the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and the State of Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Interested persons can read the ECHP Memorandum of Understanding.

How to Apply

Families must be referred to AHFC by an approved DVSA program (see the ECHP Memorandum of Understanding, page 5).