AHFC offers aid to struggling homeowners

Homeowners financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are invited to apply for Alaska Housing Homeowner Assistance through Alaska Housing Finance Corp. but need to act quickly.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 4.

Alaskans can check their eligibility using their mobile phones in just a few minutes; applications are accepted at AlaskaHousingRelief.org through a dedicated and secure online portal.

AHFC officials said on Tuesday, March 29 that as f that date 8,134 applications had already been submitted, including 1,244 from the Gulf Coast, 764 from the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 377 from Kodiak ad 103 from the Cordova-Valdez area.

Alaska Housing Homeowner Assistance is a federally funded program that may be used to address delinquencies or reduce an eligible homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments; repay past due property taxes, hazard insurance premiums, homeowner association fees and other expenses for qualifying households.

Requirements include that homeowners must occupy the property as their primary residence and be able to demonstrate that financial hardships are directly related to circumstances associated with COVID-19. This may include a reduction or loss of income that has created or increased a risk of added hardships.

For those accepted for the program, AHFC will disperse federal funds directly or through trusted business partners on behalf of the applicant to their mortgage servicer, land contract holder, manufactured/mobile home lender, condominium/homeowners’ association, local taxing authority, and utility providers.

The AHHA funding comes from U.S. Treasury. The state of Alaska received $50 million from the national Homeowner Assistance Fund, established under Section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, that allocated more than $9.9 billion in federal funds toward relief for homeowners who have experienced home insecurities related to the pandemic after Jan. 21, 2020. The law prioritizes federal funds for homeowners with the greatest hardships, leveraging local and national income indicators to maximize the impact.

Households with income at or below 150% area median income are eligible to apply. Distribution will be prioritized for households with income at or below 100% area median income. For Alaska, income requirements are separated into 29 boroughs and vary significantly. Based on inputs provided, the system will automatically calculate an applicant’s local AMI based on their home address and program income limits, said Nance Larsen, a spokesperson for AHFC.