Sign up now for federal housing vouchers

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - There's a program in Alaska that helps families pay rent, provided they fall within the income guidelines. It's a federal subsidy, so its insulated from the state's budget challenges. And, qualifying families can stay eligible for assistance for up to five years.

Registration for the Anchorage-area Housing Choice Voucher wait list, administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, ends July 31st. Interested individuals and families need to sign up now if they want to be in the queue.

Some 3,000 households end up on the list every few years, and it usually takes about two years to work through all of the names, said Cathy Stone with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

When the wait list size begins to dwindle, a new application window will open up -- but it could be a few years.

The online lottery application is available here. Note: you will need an email address.

You may also print, fill out and mail the application. A printable application is available here.

You may also drop applications off at 440 East Benson Blvd. in Anchorage, which is the same location of AHFC's family investment center, where you can stop by during office hours for assistance or to use the computer lab.

In August, participants who signed up for the wait list will be entered in a randomized lottery and assigned a number. From there, AHFC will work down the list to further qualify applicants and get vouchers assigned.

Housing Choice Vouchers allow recipients to choose where they live. Some rental units have contracts in place and already work with AHFC. But a voucher recipient may also ask to have a private landlord qualify through an inspection for safe, quality living conditions.

Federal housing choice vouchers pay out about $4 million statewide each year to private landlords, according to Stone.

More information, including income guidelines, is available here.

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