Up to 50 low-income working families are now eligible for homeownership under
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's (AHFC's) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership
The AHFC board of directors has approved expanding the pilot program implemented
in July of 2003. The pilot program enabled a permanently disabled voucher holder
to use the HCV for mortgage rather than rental assistance payments. Fifteen
voucher holders who experience permanent disabilities have become homeowners
under that program. According to Wes Weir, AHFC Public Housing Director, the
expanded program will increase the program size to 50 homeownership vouchers.
At least 20 of those vouchers are reserved for disabled families, with the remaining
number available to disabled families and working households. Participants in
the program use their voucher subsidy to assist in making their mortgage payments.
The program is open to working families who currently participate in the HCV
Program. In addition to being a tenant in good standing, applicants must complete
an AHFC HomeChoice pre-homeownership class; qualify for a mortgage loan; provide
a 3% down payment, with 1% from their own funds; and have full-time employment
during the previous year. A checklist of the criteria can be found at http://tinyurl.com/crc2j.
"Agencies statewide have been partnering with AHFC to make the program successful,"
said Weir. "The Municipality of Anchorage's AnCHOR program and Alaska Community
Development Corporation provide participants with down-payment assistance, Anchorage
and Fairbanks Neighborhood Housing Services provide counseling services and
down-payment assistance opportunities through the Neighborhood Reinvestment
Program, and USDA Rural Housing Service provides rural Alaskans access to the
Rural Housing Service leveraged-loan program and subsidized interest rate."
AHFC will hold a lottery to select initial applicants to the newly expanded
program. The closing date for the lottery is Sept. 16, 2005. Applications received
after that date will be placed on a waiting list based upon date and time of
application. Public Housing Agencies nationwide have been successfully implementing
the HCV Homeownership Program for more than five years, with more than 3,200
homes purchased through this program.
AHFC is a self-supporting public corporation with offices in 16 communities