Landlords struggle to pay mortgages as tenants face eviction

Moratorium on some evictions set to expire Saturday
Emergency Eviction Legal Services, or EELS, is a new program designed to assist renters who are...
Emergency Eviction Legal Services, or EELS, is a new program designed to assist renters who are in the process of being evicted or who may face an eviction.(Pima County)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:24 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A federal moratorium on some evictions is set to expire on Saturday.

The government allocated $50 billion to help renters but that money has been slow to get into the hands of tenants and now many could face eviction. Some landlords are suffering, too.

If the tenant chooses to not pay their rent, the landlord has to come up with the money to pay the mortgage themselves.

Ray Ward is a landlord here in Anchorage, he has owned his property for more than 40 years. Ward is disabled and says he lives on a fixed income and has not received any money from his tenant since December of 2020. He says right now his tenant owes him almost $10,000 in past due rent.

“At the same time we have to maintain the bills, maintain the dwelling,” Ward said. “I got to pay the taxes, the insurance, the water and sewer, the gas, the refuse. This year my property taxes alone went up to $4,200.”

“We as homeowners, we’re not excited to evict people, no one, ok, but, what can you do?” he continued. “When no one pays you, especially when it’s your home, we have to maintain this dwelling. It’s my home, I have no other place to go.”

Ward says he’s glad there is rental assistance out there for renters, but he just wishes there was more assistance for landlords.

“But how about us homeowners?” h said. “Mo one has helped us, no one. It’s not right.”

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. has a housing relief program that pays funds directly to landlords and utilities.

According to a weekly update published by the corporation, close to $83.6 million has already gone out to landlords and utility companies for Alaskans who applied for rental assistance.

The money has been given out to 16,975 Alaskan applicants (representing 43,651 individuals) and there are about 2,200 applicants left for the corporation to finish processing.

People who wanted to apply for rental assistance but missed the deadline are in luck, because a second round for people to apply is set to begin. The final dates for that second round have not been announced.

The corporation will also be making $50 million allocated for a mortgage relief program available at a later date. The U.S. Treasury still has to provide guidance to states to allow the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to finalize and submit mortgage relief plans for approval.

To find out more information about the housing relief program and others or to get announcements from the corporation about future openings, visit their website.

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