AHFC urges homeowners to apply for assistance by April 4

A picture of the side of a two story house

After multiple rounds of rent relief in 2021, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is now offering similar support to homeowners. The application period for AHFC’s Homeowner Assistance program began on March 14 and runs until 11:59 p.m. on the night of Monday, April 4.

AHFC Director of Governmental Relations and Public Affairs Stacy Barnes said the application is quick and easy, and she encouraged homeowners not to wait to apply.

The Homeowner Assistance program can help with mortgage payments, along with other costs of home ownership.

“We might also be able to pay for past-due property taxes, or even utility bills,” Barnes said.

Alaskans shouldn’t expect to receive checks directly, though; according to Barnes, AHFC will pay loan servicers, taxing agencies and local utility companies directly, on behalf of homeowners. Once the initial application is complete, homeowners should be ready to share photos of documentation like mortgage statements, tax returns and utility bills.

“All of the information that applicants are providing to us is going to allow us to determine where their needs are, and how quickly we can get the assistance out to them, which of course also benefits everybody who’s in line behind those individuals, as we’re processing all of these applications that are coming into us,” Barnes said.

Like last year’s rent relief, the money for the current program comes from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by the federal government last March. It’s not as large a sum, however. The federal government only provided $50 million for homeowner assistance in Alaska, compared to $250 million for renters.

“Fortunately, what we’re seeing with our own loan portfolio here at Alaska Housing is that there doesn’t appear to be as many homeowners who are struggling in the same way that renters were,” Barnes said.

The numbers AHFC has seen so far seem to bear that out. As of March 23, AHFC had only received about 7,000 applications, compared to about 30,000 applications for rent relief. Due to the smaller amount of money, though, Barnes said it’s unlikely that AHFC will be able to offer a second round of homeowner assistance.

To check eligibility or apply for homeowner assistance, visit AlaskaHousingRelief.org. For more information about the process, call 1(833)330-8290.

Image at top: A house in Nome. Photo by Sean Milligan.