AHFC Expands Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program to Working Families

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 Program.

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 statewide.

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