In early 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This law created a Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal initiative, to give around $10 billion to the states to help households that are behind on their mortgages and other housing expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligible homeowners in Alaska who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the approximately $50 million allocated to the state's Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs.
What Housing Costs Does the Alaska Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Cover?
Funds from Alaska's Homeowner Assistance Fund program can be used to:
pay utilities, like electricity, natural gas, trash removal, water, and sewer, as well as other home-energy costs, like home heating fuel or oil, propane, firewood, and wood pellets (but phone, cable, and internet costs aren't eligible)
cover a portion of your continuing payments if your financial hardship due to COVID-19 is ongoing.
You can apply even if you're not behind on mortgage or other payments, like utilities, yet.
Eligibility Requirements for Alaska's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program
To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship (a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses) after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. You must also show that you're at risk of housing instability or homelessness. In addition, you have to meet these guidelines.
The property must be located in Alaska.
Your household income must be at or below a particular threshold. The maximum household income level depends on your borough or census area and the number of people who live in your household. (You can check your eligibility for assistance before providing any personal information by using this form.)
mobile homes that aren't permanently affixed to real property
properties with land contracts, and
one- to four-unit properties if you (the homeowner) live in one of the units as a primary residence.
How Alaska's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works
Payments go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.
How to Apply for Assistance From the Alaska Homeowner Assistance Fund Program
Go here to check your eligibility and apply. You'll probably have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements or statements for your other housing-related costs, proof of income (such as pay stubs and tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license).
Deadline to Apply
The application window will close on April 4, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. AKST. So, if you think you might qualify, it's best to apply as soon as possible.
After you submit your application, you can check its status here.
Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams
If you get an unsolicited offer by phone, in the U.S. mail, through email, or by text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services, be wary. Scammers are increasingly targeting homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19. Homeowner Assistance Fund programs are free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or to receive foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam. Be sure to report any fraudulent activity you encounter.
Learn More About Alaska's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program