One of our most important jobs here at AHFC is to provide housing opportunities to all Alaskans. However, over the last few years, our supply of affordable housing has not kept up with the growing demand. While federal assistance is decreasing, families are staying longer than they were a decade ago, and for every unit available, there are four additional families seeking assistance.
We needed to make a change. And now, we have.
Introducing Rent Reform.
For our seniors and persons with disabilities, long-term, stable housing assistance is critical. Our public housing team developed the Classic Program to meet their needs, while also streamlining and simplifying the process.
Alaskans that are “work able” will now be part of the Step Program. These families will benefit from five years of housing assistance. The family’s contributions to their rent will increase or “step up” over a five-year period, while AHFC’s assistance will decrease. In the first year, the rent paid will be based on the family’s income. In years two through five, the family’s portion of rent will be based on a Step formula. As part of this program, families will be provided an opportunity to participate in an expanded Family Self Sufficiency program, and will be required to take a Financial Literacy course some time during their first year.
We developed these programs based on an in-depth understanding of the housing needs that are unique to Alaska and an extensive study of the most successful housing programs in the nation.
The goal is to make the process simpler for Alaskans, to provide assistance to more Alaskans who need it, and empower those families in our program to become financially independent.
There will be instances where families face additional challenges, and in those instances, we will look look at each scenario on a case-by-case basis and work together to find solutions.