Although many Alaskans know Saturday is the deadline to file for this year's Permanent Fund dividend checks, it's also the deadline for low-income residents to apply for an affordable housing voucher from the state.

Catchy Stone, the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.'s director of public housing, joined KTVA's Daybreak to discuss the program.

"The housing voucher program is a rental assistance program for low income Alaskans," Stone said. "Essentially right now what we're offering is we're opening up our voucher for all low income Alaskans."

The vouchers, according to Stone, are used to provide rental assistance in the private market.

"If i get a voucher I go in to the private rental market, I find a landlord that's willing to participate and I can find a unit to house my family," Stone said. "The agency pays a fee and I pay the rest to the landlord."

To qualify for the voucher, you must make below 50 percent of the average median income in Anchorage. For a family of four, that's about $44,000 a year.

The vouchers are now given out under a lottery system, replacing the previous distribution scheme.

"We closed down the traditional waiting list," Stone said. "It had at one point thousands, up to 8,000 people, and it took several years to work through."

Instead, the system is now available for periodic application periods.

"About every year and a half to two years, we'll open it up for a month so people can apply," Stone said. "This month of March is when our voucher lottery is opening, so you can apply throughout the month of March, and then we take all those applications and we randomize them in a lottery and everyone is provided a number."

About 1,800 applicants have filed so far, but Stone expects up to 2,000 by Saturday.

The deadline to apply for the affordable housing voucher is Saturday, March 31st.

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