$50M in Mortgage Relief Available to Homeowners in Alaska

You might be eligible to get money from a COVID mortgage-relief program in Alaska.

By , Attorney (University of Denver Sturm College of Law)

Update: The Alaska Homeowner Assistance Fund program discussed below is closed to new applications. If you're facing a foreclosure, you might still have time to time to work out an alternative with your loan servicer. Contact your servicer to learn about options. Also, if you have questions about the foreclosure process in Alaska or want to learn about potential defenses, consider talking to a foreclosure lawyer. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you might qualify for free or low-cost legal help.

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.

Homeowners in Alaska who've experienced a financial hardship because of COVID-19 can apply for some 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:

  • reinstate a mortgage in forbearance, delinquency, or default (the program will provide up to 12 months of mortgage assistance)
  • 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)
  • pay property taxes, homeowners' insurance, homeowners' or condominium association fees, cooperative maintenance fees, and
  • 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 COVID-19. 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.)
  • You must own and occupy the property as your primary residence. Second homes, investment properties, and vacant properties don't qualify.

Eligible types of properties include:

  • single-family attached and detached homes
  • condos
  • manufactured homes that are permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate
  • 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 sometimes target 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

If you have questions or need help with your application, call 833-330-8290 and review the program's FAQs. You may also get help from a HUD-approved housing counselor who will assist you at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.