Time is running out to sign up for a program that provides rental assistance vouchers to families struggling with housing costs. The program, operated by Alaska Housing Finance Corp., helps low-income Alaskans lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords.

Michael Courtney, the director of AHFC's public housing division, said the deadline to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher Lottery is July 31. After the application period closes, the names will be entered in a lottery, where a computer will randomly determine the order that people will fall on the list.

"We randomize all of the applications to a ranking number," Courtney said. "And so it doesn't matter if you apply on the first day of the month or the last day of the opening. You could still end up being number one through the randomized process."

Courtney said around 850 people have applied since the application period opened on July 1. He said the corporation expects about 2,000 names before the application process closes at the end of the month.

The program is income-based. To qualify, a single person would need to gross less than $36,750 a year. That number grows to $42,000 for a family of two and continues climbing with the number of family members.

Family Size Gross Annual Income Limit Family Size Gross Annual Income Limit
1 Person $36,750 5 Persons $56,650
2 Persons $42,000 6 Persons $60,850
3 Persons $47,250 7 Persons $65,050
4 Persons $52,450 8 Persons $69,250
For families with more than 8 persons, add $5,530 for each additional family member.

Courtney said people can apply for the program online as well as look at income guidelines available on the AHFC website. People can also pick up an application and apply in-person at the AHFC office, located at 440 East Benson Blvd. in Anchorage.

A special opening will happen this Saturday, July 20, from noon to 5 p.m. at the office in order to help more people apply, Courtney said.

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