Final deadline for homeowners to apply for pandemic relief is April 4

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:20 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Homeowners that faced economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday to apply for Alaska homeowner assistance from the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation encourages any Alaska homeowners facing pandemic-related financial hardships to apply immediately, especially if they owe any back utilities or mortgage payments. Applicants must also prove that their financial challenges are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as a reduction or loss of wages, and have a household family income at or below the 2021 median U.S. family income of $79,900.

“While it is not unexpected that a high percentage of current applications represent the larger population centers of Anchorage, Mat-Su, Fairbanks, Juneau, and the Kenai Peninsula, the opportunity for this program to offer relief to struggling homeowners all across the state is significant,” said Alaska Housing Finance Corp. CEO Bryan Butcher in a press release from the corporation.

Residents still qualify even if they have paid off their home but still pay for property taxes and utilities. The funding for the Alaska homeowner assistance program comes from the American Rescue Plan and provided Alaska with $50 million for assistance.

According to the press release from the corporation, over $9.9 billion in federal funds have been allocated across the U.S. Butcher said that if funds are not distributed to Alaskans, they will be distributed elsewhere in the U.S.

“If the money is not utilized in Alaska it gets redistributed in other states. So this isn’t a situation where if funds aren’t used they might reduce the federal deficit. These are dollars that can either be spent by people that need it in Alaska or they’ll end up someplace else,” Butcher said in an interview.

A similar assistance program was offered to renters in Alaska, and that program turned out to be a success as Alaska residents were given $256 million so far, according to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

“The income ranges for Alaska Housing Homeowner Assistance are more generous than its rent relief predecessor, however, the requirements and nuances are much more complex with far more intricacies that must be considered as part of the review process,” Butcher said in the press release.

It is unknown just yet how much each applicant will receive. Final numbers will be decided after all applications have been submitted. As of today just over 10,500 applications have been submitted statewide.

According to the press release, the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. team will begin determining eligibility of applications “immediately after the April 4 deadline.”

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