Gov. Mike Dunleavy has eliminated the state's senior benefits program, one of 182 line item budget vetoes he made to the state's operating budget last week. But organizations with federal funding, like the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, are still offering assistance for older Alaskans. 

AHFC has launched its federally-funded Housing Choice Voucher lottery that helps low income Alaskans cover the cost of renting a privately-owned unit. The application period for the program runs through the end of July. Eligibility is based on a percentage of annual income. 

To qualify, applicants must be at or below 50% of area median income, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development classifies as very-low income.

According to HUD, that classification in Alaska is $32,950 for a single person and $47,100 for a family of four.

"Once everyone signs up we will usually run through that within a year and a half to two years," said Cathy Stone, director of housing operations at AHFC. "So you can get your voucher and utilize it within the next year and a half to two years."

In addition, AHFC has several other programs geared toward low-income and disabled seniors — including AHFC-owned housing in several communities around the state. 

Stone says the senior housing program is popular in Alaska, adding that the waiting list to get into a unit can stretch up to five years. "So it's important people get on the list and try to get in, so when it comes available, they're ready for it."

Housing assistance through AHFC is funded through HUD.

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