Eviction moratorium is about to expire, but help is available
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The federal eviction moratorium that kept landlords from evicting renters who couldn’t pay is about to expire this weekend.
When it ends, people who missed rent payments, including fines or fees, will have to pay them back or risk being evicted. It’s a concern, according to Dan Coons, an attorney with Alaska Legal Services Corporation.
“We think there’s a good chance that many people will be impacted by it despite the fact that there is some rental assistance out there,” Coons said. “We’re just afraid it’s not getting to people quickly enough.”
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. is the agency in charge of distributing more than $360 million in federal American Rescue Funds in Alaska that are specifically earmarked for rental assistance, said Soren Johansson, public relations manager.
The money is paid to landlords and utilities on behalf of eligible Alaskans. Daniel Delfino, director of planning and program development for the corporation, said payments have already been issued on behalf of thousands of Alaska households, covering all past due rent and up to three months into the future.
“There are 17,000 total applications that have been approved for payment,” he said. “Of those, 16,700 have actually had payments issued.”
According to an email from the corporation, those payments issued total more than $81 million paid to landlords and utility companies so far.
Applications for the first round of funding closed in March, but Delfino said the agency has enough cash to open the list and let new people apply.
“We are working on it to make sure it happens as quickly as possible,” Delfino said. “The big priority for us is, we wanted to make sure we had all the applications processed from the first round before we started making promises for additional assistance.”
Delfino said people who are interested can get on a wait list, where they can check their financial eligibility for assistance as well as receive information on when applications will be accepted for the next round of funding.
Alaska Legal Services Corporation can also offer free assistance for people who are facing housing problems at 188-478-2572. The agency has a landlord-tenant hotline that is staffed Monday through Thursday from 6-8 p.m. People can call 907-743-1000 in Anchorage and 855-743-1001 statewide.
Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.