Anchorage virus housing assistance to be depleted by January

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Funding for a program providing housing assistance to residents in Alaska's largest city during the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be depleted by the end of the year.

Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson said the available funds in the COVID-19 Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program will be exhausted by the end of December, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.

Quinn-Davidson issued a statement calling on Congress to provide additional funding for the federal relief initiative.

“This program has been a lifesaver to struggling Anchorage families,” Quinn-Davidson said. “The need for housing assistance remains significant and addressing this need requires more resources than we have available.”

The Anchorage Assembly allocated $20 million of the city’s federal coronavirus relief funding to the program, which in April began providing financial assistance to residents requiring assistance paying rent or mortgages.

About $9 million has been been distributed in more than 9,000 payments to 4,000 households, the mayor’s office said.

Anchorage residents who lost income or employment due to the pandemic are eligible for the program.

The program is no longer accepting applications because the remaining funds are likely to be used by current applicants who are already awaiting assistance, the statement said.

Payments are made directly to landlords and mortgage companies rather than tenants and homeowners.

The Associated Press