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					Housing ..............................................................................................................................1
  Housing finance and development issues................................................................1
  Housing Crisis Services (Homeless Prevention and Shelter)...............................7
  Transitional housing ...................................................................................................12
  Assisted Living and Supportive Housing ................................................................14
  Rental Housing & Assistance ...................................................................................25
  Home ownership.........................................................................................................31
  Staying at home..........................................................................................................35

                                                         Housing
Focus: Accessible, affordable and safe homes in the community
Goal: People are able to live in appropriate housing in the community

Introduction
Ideally, every community should contain a wide array of housing options so that each of its
citizens can appropriately meet their basic shelter needs. Unfortunately, people with disabilities
often face enormous challenges when trying to secure affordable housing. Income supports such
as Social Security and public assistance are generally inadequate to cover median mortgage or
rental costs. Affordable housing is often in extremely short supply with long waiting lists. To
successfully close this resource gap requires the combined effort of government officials, housing
providers, community-based organizations and disability advocates. This housing guide was
developed to promote a greater understanding of the issues related to special needs housing in
Alaska and to identify some of the resources that have been or could be used to expand the
supply of housing for persons with disabilities.

Over the years, community planners and policymakers have come to view housing as a
continuum ranging from emergency shelters and services for the homeless to homeownership.
Within any continuum will likely be many variations on the housing theme such as congregate
housing, subsidized housing, housing with supportive services and community facilities.
Programs that prevent the incidence of homelessness and preserve the existing housing stock
are also critical components of any housing continuum. The following subsections contain an
examination of some of the main continuum components as they relate to housing Trust
beneficiaries.

Housing finance and development issues
Background
There is insufficient safe, comfortable, appropriate and affordable housing to meet the needs of
Alaskans. The impact of this scarcity is strongly felt by vulnerable people with mental illness,
developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, and Alzheimer's disease or related
disorders. The people who are the most disabled are most vulnerable to homelessness. Multiple
obstacles prevent these Alaskans from securing adequate housing in communities beginning with
poverty.

The financial constraints that limit the development of affordable housing are passed through the
developer to the consumer. Land costs are high in some areas, while materials, transportation,
and labor costs account for a large percentage of the overall development costs in many areas.

Not In My Back Yard
Misperceptions about individuals with psychiatric disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and chronic substance
abuse problems can create stigmas that place a serious burden on people when they try to find



Housing resource document draft                                                                                                  p. 1
housing. The "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) syndrome is a result of such misperceptions. Many
people agree that there is a need for low-income housing or housing for special needs
populations, but they do not want it in their communities or near their developments. They
inappropriately fear decreases in their property values, increases in crime rates and decreases in
the quality of services, none of which have any rational basis.

In several Alaskan communities, negative reactions to proposed group homes or supportive
housing have presented challenges to project sponsors. One area of concern is local
governments which using zoning and land-use powers to exclude group homes from most
residential areas. In Anchorage, Wasilla, Kenai, and other communities, the NIMBY phenomenon
has created zoning restrictions that seriously inhibit the development of housing for people with
special needs. In Anchorage, the term “quasi-institutional use” now includes most supportive
housing and assisted living, even private homes where personal care is brought in.

AHFC Corporate Receipts
AHFC’s ability to fund grants and loans is set by legislative authority. In the last several years,
AHFC has stepped up to Governor and legislature requests to pay for more than $100 million per
year in bonds, sewer and water projects, boat harbors and even license plates. This obligation of
corporate receipts limits AHFC’s ability to increase mortgage funding (which could generate more
funding for state uses) or grant programs. Given the bonding that AHFC is doing on behalf of the
state, the amount of grant funding that will be available in the future is even more limited.

Targeting Housing Funds Toward Beneficiaries
HUD, AHFC, USDA, municipalities, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development,
and tribal housing authorities implementing NAHASDA bring millions of dollars that can assist
Trust beneficiaries into the state. All of these organizations have projects and programs that
specifically assist Alaskans with a variety of disabling conditions. Several of these funding entities
rely on guidance from non-housing providers to best direct their resources to the Alaskans most
in need. For example, DHSS sits on AHFC’s Housing & Community Development Plan steering
committee, and has for some time. This helps influence how AHFC allocates grant funds and Low
Income Housing Tax Credits. In March 2001, The Trust was added to that steering committee.
Another organization, the Alaska Coalition on Housing & Homelessness works to identify service
gaps within the state and advocate for assistance to the state’s most vulnerable populations. This
group is comprised of service providers such as community mental health centers, state and local
officials, community volunteers and consumers. However, there is room for more assistance for
housing funders in better targeting state, federal and tribal resources to best serve people with
mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism, and dementia.

Layering NAHASDA funds with other housing and support funding sources
Several of Alaska’s Tribally Designated Housing Entities have expressed interest in leveraging
their NAHASDA funds against other funds, including USDA and AHFC. However, there has been
some confusion about federal priorities and NAHASDA use. NAHASDA funds are meant for
housing for Indian and Native people, and HUD can permit TDHEs to use funds for non-Natives
under certain extenuating circumstances. At the same time, other housing fund sources are not
permitted to discriminate by race. There is a perception that it could violate the Fair Housing Act
to partner with NAHASDA funds, which is compounded by HUD guidance that is not easy to
understand. Some TDHEs have partnered NAHASDA funds with other sources to create
supportive housing and facilities that would serve both Natives and non-Natives, attempting to
comply with both sets of requirements by designating some units as Native -only. The confusion
about Fair Housing and preferences is a limiting factor in leveraging the most funds to create
supportive housing in rural Alaska. A Davis-Bacon wage issue, addressing Native hire
preferences, is being addressed.

Accessing available housing resources
A variety of private and public entities provide housing related resources. There are many rental
assistance programs, down payment and closing cost assistance programs, mortgage lending


Housing resource document draft                                                                  p. 2
products, and targeted rehabilitation (including accessibility modifications) and weatherization
programs. Human service providers and people with disabilities are often overwhelmed by the
array of options, and unsure as to which housing resources may be available and most
appropriate to their particular situations. Continuous turnover in human service agency staff
means that training these workers in how to help their clients access housing would be necessary
on a continuous basis. Neighborhood housing service agencies, public housing agencies, local
housing authorities, and mortgage companies are able to assist, but only in a limited manner.

Loan programs funded through arbitrage
Housing Finance Corporations such as AHFC have some latitude about the way they handle
earnings on loans in excess of their bonded indebtedness. This money is called arbitrage.
Arbitrage is excess earnings on bonds. The IRS regulates arbitrage earnings. State housing
finance agencies must give excess earnings to IRS, forgive loans, or use in a similar manner as
the original bonds. In 1986, an IRS law change made it impossible for state housing finance
agencies to create arbitrage. Due to recent declines in excess earnings, AHFC’s arbitrage fund is
actually diminishing.

AHFC’s goals for arbitrage funds are to promote safe, quality affordable housing and to target un-
served or under-served markets. Since 1993, AHFC has put $170+ million of arbitrage into
programs. By contrast, most states have around $5 million. However, AHFC’s arbitrage is
declining. In July 2001, AHFC has $26 million in arbitrage for special mortgage programs. In
FY00, they had $70 million available for these programs. AHFC has expressed hope that the
organization can sustain this level of activity for the next three to four years.

Is it Housing, a Residential Program, or Facility?
Housing and facilities are different economically. Most federal & state housing money can't be
spent on facilities. For example, AHFC is statutorily prohibited from using corporate funds to fund
non-residential facilities such as residential treatment centers or institutions. AS 18.56.390(11)
defines “residential housing” as “a specific work or improvement undertaken primarily to provide
dwelling accommodations.” In other words, if the primary purpose of a structure is to provide
treatment, instruction or medical care, then housing would be incidental to those purposes and
the project would lie outside of AHFC’s statutory authority to fund. Nevertheless, such housing
options still need to be available as part of the housing continuum.

The definitions of "housing" and "facility" are not always easy to understand for the service side.
Changes in Medicaid regulations and grant funds, and their impact on housing supports &
support services to people in housing, seem to occur regularly. Identifying proper funding sources
for capital, rental subsidies, building operations and service operations can be complex for the
funders, the builders, and providers.




Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 3
What works
NAHASDA
The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-
                                                         NAHASDA Eligible Activities
Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) reorganized
                                                         The ACVP Regional Housing
the system of Federal housing assistance to Native
                                                         Authority builds 40 homes per year,
Americans by eliminating several separate
                                                         has $5,000 grants for tribal members
programs and replacing them with a single block
                                                         away at school and who need
grant program. Alaska’s Tribally Designated
                                                         housing assistance, and made $5,000
Housing Entities brought in more than $101 million
                                                         tribal disaster emergency vouchers
in funding in FFY01. Funds are targeted to Native
                                                         available during the recent fish
people at 100 percent of poverty, although a TDHE
                                                         disaster. These funds were used for
may request and receive permission to serve non-
                                                         critical needs such as purchasing
native individuals and families over 100 percent of
                                                         fuel.
poverty with HUD permission. Eligible activities
include acquisition, new construction, and
rehabilitation of rentals or home ownership; housing services, housing management, crime
prevention and safety, and model activities. Housing includes group homes for persons with
special needs, congregate, transitional, and shelter units, energy assistance, homeless
                                                        prevention, self-sufficiency activities, rental
 NAHASDA: Model Activities                              assistance, and loan management. A
 St. Michaels Community Center was built by             portion of these funds is dedicated to
 Bering Straits Housing Authority. It includes a two-   modernizing and operating currently
 bedroom low-income apartment, social service           assisted housing stock. Alaska’s TDHEs
 program offices, a day care, and community             fund and maintain about 1,078 units of
 space in a 6,000 square foot building. Building        housing at present. Fund allocation is
 use was pro-rated based on how much                    directed through Indian Housing Plans
 NAHASDA funds would serve NAHASDA-eligible             written by TDHEs. Exceptions to eligible
 residents compared to other community residents.       activities set out in federal law are called
 Other partners included ICDBG, AHFC, Murdock           model activities and must be approved by
 Trust, Fund of the Four Directions, IRA Councils,      HUD. Indian Housing Plans are tribally
 Kawerak, the City, and Regional Corporation.           driven.

                                                          HOME Investment Partnership Program
A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program that awards $3 million annually
to Alaska. A portion of the funding is allocated for the development of rental housing for low-to-
moderate income families. Amount of funding varies each year, but averages $1.5 million. Non-
profits may receive grants or loans. For-profits may receive only loans. HOME may be used for
housing rehabilitation, tenant-based rental assistance, assistance to homebuyers, acquisition of
housing and new construction of housing. Funding may also be used for other necessary and
reasonable activities related to the development of non-luxury housing, such as site acquisition,
site improvements, demolition, and relocation.

Municipality of Anchorage HOME
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) gives the Municipality of
Anchorage more than $970,000 through HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). In
FY01, carry-forward of more than $100,000 is also available. HUD’s HOME Investment
Partnerships Program provides grant and loan funding for affordable housing. The Municipality
allocates HOME funds through the Anchorage Communities Home Ownership Resource
(AnCHOR) Program, Tenant Based Rental Assistance, and a reserve for paying a Community
Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to carry out HOME activities. These are described
further below.

HUD HOME Technical Assistance



Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 4
The purpose of the HOME TA program is to increase the knowledge and ability of a housing
agency to design and implement HOME programs, including: the ability to design and implement
housing strategies and incorporate energy efficiency into affordable housing; facilitate the
exchange of information to help participating jurisdictions carry out their programs; facilitate the
establishment and efficient operation of employer-assisted housing programs and land bank
programs; and encourage private lenders and for-profit developers of low-income housing to
participate in public-private partnerships. In Alaska, AHFC is the current HOME TA provider.

HUD State Administered Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
The state CDBG Program assists state governments in developing viable urban communities by
providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanding economic opportunities,
principally for persons of low and moderate income. States must distribute the funds to units of
general local governments with populations under 50,000. In Alaska, the Department of
Community and Economic Development receives and allocates approximately $3.2 million in
CDBG grant funds. CDBG competitive grants are single-purpose project grants; maximum of
$200,000 per community. There are three basic funding categories: community development,
planning and Special Economic Development.

HUD Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Communities
The purpose is to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable
living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and
moderate income. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled
metropolitan cities and urban counties to implement a wide variety of community and economic
development activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development and
the provision of improved community facilities and services. CDBG activities are initiated and
developed at the local level based upon a community’s perceptions of its local needs, priorities,
and benefits to the community. Each entitlement grantee receiving CDBG funds is free to
determine what activities it will fund as long as certain requirements are met, including that each
activity is eligible and meets one of the following broad national objectives: benefit persons of low
and moderate income, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or meet other
community development needs of particular urgency.

Municipality of Anchorage CDBG
The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) gives the Municipality of Anchorage
more than $2.2 million in funding each year through a Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG); $700,000 in carry-forward funds is available in 2001. Based on the previous four years
of loan repayments, the Municipality estimates that an additional $180,000 in program income will
be generated from CDBG programs in 2001. The Municipality of Anchorage allocates CDBG
funds largely to community facilities and capital improvements, but sets aside some funds for
Emergency Shelter Grants and for a home modification program for people with disabilities.

HUD Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG)
The Indian Housing Block Grant program provides annual formula grants to Indian tribes to assist
and promote affordable housing activities for the benefit of low-income Indian families. The Indian
tribe can administer the program or it may designate a tribally designated housing entity (such as
an Indian Housing Authority) to do so. The tribe may use the funds for any eligible activity, in
accordance with its determination of need. The housing may be rental or home ownership.
Eligible housing activities include Indian Housing Assistance, housing development, housing
services, housing management services, and crime prevention and safety activities.

HUD Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) Technical Assistance
To promote the ability of Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) to maintain,
rehabilitate and construct housing for low-income and moderate-income families; facilitate the
education of low-income homeowners and tenants; and help women who reside in low-and
moderate-income neighborhoods to rehabilitate and construct housing in these neighborhoods.
Grants are made for up to three years with a possible one-year extension. In Alaska, AHFC


Housing resource document draft                                                                  p. 5
received $23,640 in FFY99 to provide such technical assistance. AHFC supports housing
counseling activities of Fairbanks Neighborhood Housing Services and Housing First in Juneau
(in cooperation with the Juneau Affordable Housing Partnership) with these funds.

AHFC CHDO Reserve
AHFC sets aside $150,000 in its HUD HOME entitlement for Community Housing Development
Organizations (CHDOs) to carry out HOME activities.

Municipality of Anchorage CHDO Reserve
A portion of the Municipality’s HOME entitlement is set-aside for an Anchorage-certified
Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to carry out HOME activities. In FFY00,
the Municipality has allocated $145,500 in HUD HOME funds for CHDO reserves.

AHFC Senior & Special Needs Housing Office
To increase awareness of housing needs, the Senior & Special Needs Housing Office develops
an inventory of senior housing available within Alaska, provides information on home
modifications and repairs, accessibility and design, funding sources, home-based assistance, and
information to the construction industry about housing design to help meet the needs of senior
citizens and other Alaskans with special needs. The Senior & Special Needs Housing Office also
works with other public and private agencies to pursue various sources of financing for the
development of housing.

Strategies
•   Develop funding sources and work with the private and public housing industries to assure
    that people with mental or cognitive disorders, developmental disabilities and chemical
    addictions have choices of accessible, affordable and safe homes in the community.
•   Encourage HUD to clarify the ability of developers to use NAHASDA funds in conjunction with
    other funds in layering development funding packages.
•   Collaborate with AHFC, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Rural Housing
    Authorities to expand the supply of accessible, affordable housing options in rural areas of
    the State.
•   Continue DHSS and Trust role in AHFC Consolidated Plan development.
•   Expand housing liaison services for rentals and home ownership similar to existing
    neighborhood housing service programs. Foster relationships between human service
    providers and housing service agencies.
•   Work with the Alaska Affordable Housing Partnership as they form a subcommittee to
    examine consequences of diminished capital funding for AHFC. The purpose is to pull
    together information to assist policymakers and the public better understand how best to
    spend AHFC corporate receipts.
•   Work with banks, AHFC, HUD and private developers to develop financial incentives.
    Incentives encourage landlords, property managers and developers to develop new or
    rehabilitate older housing to make it accessible and affordable.




Housing resource document draft                                                             p. 6
Housing Crisis Services (Homeless Prevention and Shelter)
Background
A growing number of households live precipitously on the edge of a housing crisis. For many, a
simple event like the loss of a roommate, a cutback in work hours, or a brief illness can trigger a
financial crisis that forces a choice between food and housing. For those with disabilities, an
extended period of institutionalization can result in the loss of a steady income such as SSI and
thus jeopardize their ability to retain or obtain housing upon discharge.

Ideally, the best approach is the availability of programs that prevent a housing crisis such as
food banks and homeless prevention services that provide payments for housing and/or utility
arrearages. Funds are usually awarded competitively by state or federal agencies to non-profits
or allocated by formula to pre-authorized agencies. Unfortunately, most of these programs remain
severely underfunded and subject to frequent suspension and resumption. Another serious
barrier is knowing where to go for help. Different agencies in each Alaskan community may offer
financial assistance with rent, mortgage or utility arrearages, but they rarely advertise their
services for fear of an inability to meet demand.

If a homeless prevention program is not available or appropriate (as in the case of domestic
violence), the next option for an immediate housing crisis may be the provision of a safe
emergency shelter. What usually distinguishes a “shelter” from a “transitional housing” site is the
limited number of consecutive nights a person can sleep there. On average, most shelters
impose a time limit of 30 days. As a result, supportive services beyond discharge planning are
rare. Here in Alaska, there are very few emergency shelters available to the general population.
Most of these shelters are located in the larger communities of Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks
and Kodiak. While there is an extensive network of shelters for victims of domestic violence,
single persons with substance abuse, mental illness or some other disability are often hard
pressed to find suitable shelter when family and friends are not available to help. All too often,
such persons find themselves caught up in inappropriate and costly institutional systems such as
hospitals or jails. There can be as many approaches to providing emergency shelter as there are
homeless populations. The following descriptions are just a few examples of how emergency
shelter may be provided.

Nationally, during the past two decades, homelessness has increased due to the combination of
a shortage of rental housing and an increase in poverty. Housing absorbs a high proportion of
income and when a family reaches an economic crisis due to health issues or job loss, housing is
easily lost. The combination of declining wages and availability of public assistance is another
cause of homelessness. Other factors include a lack of health care, domestic violence, mental
illness, and substance use disorders. In short, "homelessness results from a complex set of
circumstances which require people to choose among food, shelter and other basic needs.

Indicators
Since 1995, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has conducted a Homeless Service Providers
Survey twice each year in January and July. These surveys provide valuable information to
identify trends in the demographic characteristics and severity of homelessness in Alaska. The
survey provides a point -in-time census that is completed by homeless service providers
semiannually on a predetermined day. Information from the survey is used by organizations
preparing funding applications for a variety of programs. AHFC does try to identify and remove
duplicate counts from the survey. However, the results are not intended to represent the entire
homeless population.

This survey has many limitations. Because the survey is voluntary, the return rate from providers
varies from 50 to 79 percent. It depends on self-disclosure for characteristics such as substance
abuse or mental illness. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it only counts people who are using
services on the day of the survey and misses those who are not connected to services or who are



Housing resource document draft                                                                 p. 7
turned away because shelters are unavailable. It also does not count people living temporarily in
unstable housing with relatives or in makeshift housing such as tents or vehicles.




Nonetheless, the survey does provide some idea of the number of homeless people and their
characteristics. The number of homeless people counted by the survey has increased. Figure
XXX shows the number of homeless in Anchorage and the rest of the state for each of the point-
in-time surveys between 1995 and 2000. Although there continues to be seasonal variation
between July and January, the trend appears to be a general increase particularly in the number
of winter homeless people. Figure XXX shows the portion of homeless by disability type. The
most prevalent disability was mental illness. This is consistent with the national research that
indicates 20 to 25 percent of the single adult homeless population are seriously mentally ill. An
increase in the proportion of people with disabilities is also reflected in an increase in the
proportion of people with more than one disability. This percentage has increased from 30
percent in 1996 to 38 percent in 2000.

Even in the face of regulatory barriers and inadequate resources, Alaskan service providers,
disability advocates and government officials will need to continue to work together to build a
continuum that responds to every kind of housing need.




Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 8
Crisis Respite
For persons with mental or developmental disabilities, crisis respite services play a vital role in
the housing continuum. When a person experiences a mental health crisis, they may also face
community displacement or a long hospitalization period that can also jeopardize their housing.
This is particularly problematic for persons in rural communities who may be transported to an
urban hospital, evaluated but not admitted, then returned to their community of origin to deal with
the effects of that disruption. Such compounded problems can often be avoided with appropriate
crisis respite care.

There are two basic models of crisis respite care. The first model is a facility-based program that
is staffed on a 24-hour per day, seven day per week basis. This model is more likely to be used in
an urban setting where the number of clients requiring these services can support a more costly,
round-the-clock staffing structure. The second model emphasizes the use of existing community
facilities and resources to provide respite care. Several smaller community mental health centers
have developed some very innovative programs to aid their clients in the event of a crisis. For
example, in Kenai, the local mental health center recruited a number of private families to provide
emergency foster care in their own homes. In Kotzebue, the local health center worked with a
number of existing residential programs such as the women’s shelter and a substance abuse
treatment facility to add a crisis respite component. According to the Alaska Mental Health
Board’s “Shared Vision II,” there are approximately 70 “official” crisis respite beds located in 12
communities throughout the state.

Emergency Shelters
In settings where demand for shelter is high but available living space is low, homeless service
agencies have had to resort to the provision of group sleeping areas such as mats on a floor or
sleeping rooms full of bunk beds. Many of these facilities were once warehouses or commercial
buildings that were converted to emergency shelters. Toilet and bathing facilities are rarely
private and food service is often limited to breakfast only. If the shelter serves both men and
women, areas for sleeping, bathroom and even eating are often physically separated. While a
congregate shelter may be preferable to street life, such close personal living may not be suitable
for persons with anti-social tendencies or fragile medical conditions.

When used as an emergency shelter, motels and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings
offer a little more privacy but few other services. Most SRO’s were once commercial hotels or
motels that were converted for shelter use. One exception is the St. Vincent DePaul complex in
Juneau where individual guest rooms were incorporated into the original building design. Many of
these properties have community kitchens where guests do their own cooking. Toilet facilities
may be in the guest rooms or “down the hall.”

In communities where shelter needs are more sporadic, maintaining a multi-room facility is
probably cost prohibitive. In these circumstances, many service providers have set up voucher
systems with local motels. Depending on the time of year, some service agencies have managed
to negotiate substantially lower rates to temporarily house their clients. In the fall of 2001, a
unique new service opened in Anchorage that combines both the SRO and voucher model. The
Safe Harbor Inn is a former motel that was bought by a non-profit organization for the sole
purpose of providing emergency housing. Only agencies with a signed Memorandum of
Understanding with Safe Harbor can place clients there. Guest rates are substantially lower than
most budget motels in the area.

Safe Havens
The 1992 Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act defines safe havens as “a form of
supportive housing that serves hard-to-reach homeless persons with severe mental illness who
are on the street and have been unable or unwilling to participate in supportive services.” They
tend to look like an SRO from the outside but the biggest difference is that there are very few
program rules and no requirements to seek any psycho-social services as a condition of lodging
there. Under the HUD guidelines, safe havens may offer 24-hour service of unlimited duration.



Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 9
Though safe havens place low demands on residents, the model places a high expectation that
residents will gradually transition from an unsafe and unstable street life to a more permanent
housing site and a reconnection with treatment services. At present, no safe havens have been
developed in Alaska.

HUD Continuum of Care
In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced the
Continuum of Care (CoC) planning model to encourage communities to address the problems of
housing and homelessness in a more coordinated, comprehensive and strategic manner. The
strategic planning conducted through this process also forms the basis of a CoC plan and annual
application to HUD for funding. CoC groups, comprised of service providers, government officials,
community volunteers and homeless or formerly homeless individuals, are expected to gather
information on the needs of homeless individuals and families in their locale, identify the existing
resources to meet those needs and develop a strategy for filling those service “gaps.” CoC
groups examine each component of the housing continuum such as homeless prevention,
emergency shelter, transitional housing, and for persons with disabilities, permanent supportive
housing and permanent independent housing. During HUD’s annual funding competition, these
groups are required to prioritize all of the projects to be submitted from their region.

The HUD Continuum of Care funding allocation is completely obligated in Alaska, particularly in
Anchorage. That means that shelter and supportive housing for less than 24 months of tenancy
cannot be expanded with the current levels of federal funds. At the same time that Continuum of
Care funds pay for transitional housing and shelter, many tenants require continuing shelter and
care past the 24 months of eligible tenancy. This is a national issue, as communities across the
country have faced a terrible dilemma: whether to use McKinney funding to renew existing
successful programs that are helping end homelessness or develop needed new programs. In
1999, this renewal crisis culminated in the defunding of over 700 units of permanent, supportive
housing under the Shelter Plus Care program, which served over 800 formerly homeless persons
with disabilities and their families nationally.

In Alaska, there are two Continuum of Care groups – Anchorage and Balance-of-State. Much of
the planning process is conducted under the CoC groups’ umbrella organization, the Alaska
Coalition on Housing and Homelessness. Project prioritization is completed separately. The
Coalition holds monthly meetings by teleconference and focuses on strategic planning at its
annual meeting held in the fall. Coalition membership is open to all interested Alaskan citizens. In
Anchorage, the Homeless Services Forum drives the Continuum of Care

A significant barrier identified by both Continuum of Care groups in Alaska has been the definition
established by Congress of a homeless person. The federal statute defines a homeless person
as “an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and an individual
who has a primary nighttime residence that is a) a supervised publicly or privately operated
shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels,
congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill); b) an institution that provides a
temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or c) a public or private place
not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.” By
this definition, persons who are living in overcrowded conditions in the homes of friends and
family members are not considered homeless and could not be served by a federally funded
homeless program. In Alaska, this restriction is particularly harmful for persons in communities
that do not have public shelters or where shelter beds are available only to a small target
population such as victims of domestic violence.

What works

HUD Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG)
The goals of the Emergency Shelter Grant Program are to assist with the following activities
relating to emergency shelter for the homeless: renovation, major rehabilitation, or conversions of


Housing resource document draft                                                                 p. 10
buildings for use as emergency shelters for the homeless; payment of maintenance, operation,
insurance, utilities, and furnishings; payment for provision of essential community services
including those concerned with employment, health, substance abuse, education, food, or
homeless prevention. (HUD only allows up to 30% of an award to be used for homeless
prevention.) Funds are awarded to each entitlement area using the same formula as CDBG. In
FFY00, the Municipality of Anchorage received $80,000 and the Department of Commerce &
Economic Development (DCED) received $113,000 for the rest of the state. Due to the small size
of these allotments, neither entitlement area has elected to use ESG funds for major development
of any new emergency shelters.

Since FFY00, the Municipality of Anchorage has retained most it’s ESG entitlement to provide
homeless prevention and essential services directly through their Safe City Program. Only the
“Maintenance and Operations” portion of the allotment is awarded competitively to local shelters.
In FFY01, that amount was $28,000.

For the Balance-of-State, DCED has opted to award its entire allotment competitively for essential
services, maintenance and operations or homeless prevention (up to the 30% limit.) DCED
imposes limits on the amounts any one applicant can request so that at least five awards may be
issued in a given year. Any non-profit in a community with a population between 5,000 and
100,000 persons is eligible, subject to approval from its Municipal government entity.

Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP, formerly known as FEMA)
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (ESFP) is another source of Federal formula funds
that are awarded annually to local jurisdictions to aid the homeless and near-homeless. With the
exception of major shelter development, the eligible activities for this program are essentially the
same as ESG (i.e. essential services, shelter operating support and homeless prevention.)
Funds are generally distributed through local United Ways.

AHFC Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
The purpose of the Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) is to help community-based agencies
such as local governments, regional housing authorities or non-profit organizations address
situations involving homeless persons or persons in imminent danger of becoming homeless.
HAP grants help fill the financial gap between identified needs and available resources. Private
individuals are not eligible to apply for a HAP grant. To effectively compete for HAP funding,
applicant agencies must provide documentation of need for the proposed service and evidence of
community coordination and support. Between 1998 and 2001, funding requests consistently
exceeded $1 million. AHFC administers this program, which is co-funded by AHFC and the Trust
at $450,000 per year.

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
The PATH program is a service program specifically targeting homeless persons with serious
mental illness. PATH is formula funded to all 50 states by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human
Services (DHHS). States are required to match at least one dollar for every three PATH dollars
received. As a “small state,” Alaska has been receiving the minimum amount of $300,000 from
DHHS annually. PATH funds may be used for outreach, screening and diagnosis, habilitation
and rehabilitation, community mental health, addiction treatment (for people with co-occurring
addictive and mental disorders), case management, residential supervision, and limited housing
services. Currently, all PATH funds have been directed to support the Crossover House project
operated by Southcentral Counseling Center in Anchorage.

Community Mental Health Grants
The Alaska Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (DMHDD) awards grants to
community mental health centers throughout the state for a wide variety of services for persons
with emotional disturbances. Included on the “menu” of eligible activities are crisis stabilization,
case management and residential services. Community Mental Health Grants are comprised of a
combination of state, federal and Mental Health Trust resources. For example, in FY01, DMHDD



Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 11
“passed through” $1,040,990 in federal Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funds
and $3,198,624 in state “Psychiatric Emergency Services” program funds to community mental
health centers.

Developmental Disability Community Grants

Adult Protective Services

Human Services Community Matching Grants
The purpose of this program is to aid communities to provide “essential human services” to
persons in need. Currently, the only two communities that receive these funds are the
Municipality of Anchorage and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Both governments turn around
and award the funds competitively to local non-profits. In FY02, the state awarded $1,304,844 to
Anchorage and $412,056 to Fairbanks.

Local Governments
Many shelters rely on their local governments to supply a portion of their annual operating funds.
With the recent cuts to municipal aid from the state, shelters have been finding their annual
allotments reduced substantially. Faced with decisions between fire protection, roads and
homeless services, city council members rarely view the latter as a priority.

NAHASDA Shelter Programs
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Shelters can be
included but as yet, none have been developed using this resource.

Strategies
•   Increase AHFC's Homeless Assistance Program, which is currently funded at $450,000 by
    AHFC and the Trust.
•   Increase the federal allocation for the ESG and EFSP programs in Alaska.
•   Review institutional discharge policies to minimize release to emergency shelters.
•   Create a state endowment to support homeless prevention programs.

Transitional housing

Background
For many homeless persons, the 30-60 day limit imposed by most emergency shelters is an
inadequate amount of time to fully resolve a housing crisis. Some have poor rental histories and
require basic life skills training to ensure success in their next long-term placement. Others need
more time to secure benefits or obtain employment before they can afford their own rental unit.
Still others may be just emerging from an institution or treatment facility and need an interim
placement to redevelop skills to live independently and/or soberly.

The term, transitional housing, means different things to different agencies. Citing the McKinney
Homeless Act, HUD defines transitional housing as “housing, the purpose of which is to facilitate
the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing within 24 months or
such longer period as the Secretary determines necessary.” AHFC has also adopted the 24-
month limit in its definition of transitional housing under its Homeless Assistance Program. In the
substance abuse field, transitional housing generally means interim housing that provides a link
between residential treatment and independent living, but no distinct time limit has been
identified. In the corrections field, “halfway houses” may also be considered transitional housing,
but these programs fall more into the category of a public institution due to their restrictive nature.
Transitional housing programs generally provide a more comprehensive and structured approach
to preparing their clients to achieve housing stability when placed in a permanent residence.



Housing resource document draft                                                                  p. 12
Most of the transitional housing in Alaska has been developed in the last decade. Community
mental health centers in Anchorage, Kenai, and Mat-Su have developed transitional housing as
part of their own continuums of care for clients. In Anchorage, the Homeward Bound program
provides transitional housing for chronic substance-abusing homeless persons. Domestic
violence shelters in Fairbanks, Kenai and Palmer have all added transitional units to their housing
stock in addition to their short-term shelters. In response to the issue of youth aging out of foster
care, service providers in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Mat-Su have all developed transitional
housing programs to better equip these and other qualified young persons for independent living.

What Works
HUD Supportive Housing Program (Continuum of Care)
Since 1994, the greatest source of support for the development and operation of transitional
housing in Alaska has been HUD’s Supportive Housing Program (SHP). SHP funds have been
used to develop interim housing options for some of the most challenging homeless clients such
as chronic public inebriates, persons with severe mental illness and persons with both
developmental disabilities and chemical dependency. Persons entering SHP facilities must meet
the federal definition of “homeless” which is much more rigid and can preclude persons “doubling
up.” Following the initial, three-year start-up grant, recipients of SHP funding have been able to
continue to receive operating support through an annual renewal process. As this renewal burden
has grown, opportunities to fund new projects have become virtually nonexistent.

HUD Supportive Housing Technical Assistance
Provides applicants, potential applicants, grantees, and project sponsors for McKinney Act-
funded Emergency Shelter Grants, Supportive Housing Program, Section 8 Moderate
Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy and Shelter Plus Care projects with technical assistance
to promote the development of housing and supportive services as part of the Continuum of Care
approach, including innovative approaches to assist homeless persons in the transition from
homelessness, and to enable them to live as independently as possible. Interested agencies
should submit their technical assistance requests to AHFC, HUD’s Technical Assistance
administrator.

AHFC Grant Match Program
AHFC’s Grant Match Program is designed to increase the amount of housing funds that flow into
the state and to foster the growth of public/private partnerships. Using corporate funds,
authorized by the legislature, AHFC makes it possible for housing agencies to apply for federal
and other grants that require local match to be eligible or competitive for funding. (Note: Private
individuals are not eligible to apply for the Grant Match Program.) Due to recent reductions in
funding authorization for this program, AHFC has had to limit the number of grant programs to
which it can offer match assistance. The HUD/SHP program is one of AHFC’s highest priorities
for Grant Match.

AHFC Homeless Assistance Program
In addition to shelter support, transitional housing is also an eligible activity for funding under
AHFC’s Homeless Assistance Program (HAP). HAP funds have been used to acquire new
structures for new transitional facilities as well as support existing programs.

DHSS Transitional Housing for Recovering Substance Abusers
Individuals returning to smaller communities from out -of-town treatment programs are at risk of
losing their sobriety without adequate supports. This funding will permit individuals to reunite with
their families more quickly and to practice their new recovery skills in their old, familiar
environments before returning home without supports. The Mental Health Trust has allocated
$300,000 for capital costs to establish transitional housing units for people requiring safe and
sober housing following treatment completion. Where possible, Trust funds will leverage federal,
AHFC, and Indian Housing capital funds, and Native Association and Division of Alcoholism and


Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 13
Drug Abuse operating funds. Housing will be located in hub communities. Individuals and families
will be eligible to stay in the housing units for up to 24 months.

NAHASDA Shelter Programs
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Transitional housing
can be included.

Strategies
• Support development of transitional housing with supportive services for people completing
    substance abuse or mental health treatment programs and returning to the community
•   Conduct a concerted education effort with elected officials and staffs of municipalities,
    perhaps through the Municipal League, to improve understanding of the need for and use of
    transitional housing

Assisted Living and Supportive Housing
Background
The combination of housing and supportive services are often necessary for many people with
mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or substance use disorders to successfully
reintegrate into the community and achieve long term stability. Among the obstacles confronting
this population are a shortage of affordable housing stock and a need for support services to
accompany the living situation. Such supports may range from medical monitoring and assistance
with daily living activities to occasional homemaking chores, nutrition and/or transportation.

In years past, the response to this level of need was often institutionalization and community
isolation. Family members were sometimes separated by hundreds of miles due to the remote
locations of some of these institutions. As a result of vigorous efforts from homeless and disability
advocacy groups and now bolstered by the 1999 Olmstead Decision of the Supreme Court, two
distinct types of community based housing alternatives have emerged– supportive housing and
assisted living. These advocacy groups maintain that the need for expensive public services such
as homeless shelters, crisis intervention and emergency medical care will lessen as more of
these housing types are developed.

Supportive Housing
Supportive housing is designed for persons with special needs to live as independently as
practicable. In supportive housing, residents have their own housing units and lease agreements.
Occupancy is not time-limited as long as tenants abide by their leases. Although support services
may be available on-site, residents are not required to utilize those services as a term of their
lease. Almost a decade ago, a number of nonprofit housing and service providers initiated this
housing solution for homeless people, many of whom suffer from mental illness, substance abuse
issues, developmental disabilities or age-related dementia. The idea was to provide affordable
rental housing with flexible, responsive and accessible support services. The pilot program was
so successful that the Pew Charitable Trust, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The
Ford Foundation collaborated for create the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). This
organization provides technical assistance to community organizations to expand the supply of
supportive housing. Recent CSH research on the success of supportive housing for persons with
chronic mental illness and substance abuse conditions showed decreases of nearly 50 percent
for inpatient hospital days, emergency room visits, and incarcerations.

Assisted Living
Assisted living is essentially a more structured and regulated form of special needs housing.
Supportive services and housing are more tightly connected. To receive payment from public
sources such as Medicaid, assisted living homes must meet specific licensing requirements and
offer a pre-established array of services. Many of these required services are related to activities



Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 14
of daily living. In Alaska, licensing of assisted living homes is administered by the state agencies
with oversight of programs serving a particular population. In Alaska, those two agencies are the
Department of Administration, Division of Senior Services and the Department of Health and
Social Services, Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Assisted living homes vary in size and scope from small “mom-and-pop” operations to large,
agency-run homes. There are approximately 300 licensed homes in Alaska, serving nearly 2,000
individuals. In fact, all five of the Alaska Pioneer Homes are now classified by the State as
assisted living homes. Between room, board and care, the cost of an assisted living home can
easily range between $2,500 and $5,000 per month. Many residents in assisted living rely on the
CHOICE Medicaid Waiver to cover the costs of services received in the home. The “housing”
portion of their fees are often covered by a combination of Social Security and Adult Public
Assistance, General Relief. AHFC has a limited number of housing vouchers set-aside for
specifically for persons with Medicaid waivers.


Structuring funding for housing with supports
Developers of supportive housing should approach their projects from three different angles –
construction/acquisition/rehap; facility operation; and supportive services. HUD pays for
construction, rental subsidies, and, in some cases supportive services. AHFC pays for
construction or acquisition for people with a variety of disabilities for rental subsidies, down
payment assistance, and some support services if matched with a HUD program. AHFC allocates
points for serving people with special needs in grant programs, in their tax credit formula (first in
the nation to do so), and has several loan programs specifically for housing people with special
needs. DHSS pays for rental subsidies through Adult Public Assistance and for supportive
services through Medicaid waiver programs and grants in many divisions: mental health,
developmental disabilities, substance abuse treatment, and more to people with a variety of
disabilities. DSS also pays rent subsidies through General Relief to people with all disabilities,
and for supportive services through waivers & grant programs for seniors and adults with physical
disabilities only.

It is difficult to coordinate the supportive services, rental subsidies, and building construction
loans & grants. Persistent providers are often the only entities that figure out how to make these
funding programs work together. When providers succeed, they drive the system of housing with
supports. Structuring the production of supportive housing means that funders agree they have
mutual goals of providing affordable housing and supportive services for certain groups of people.
When funders coordinate responsibilities, they direct policy over the supportive housing. By
structuring the production of supportive housing, funders can make sure that providers are
targeting housing & support resources to the populations that the agencies believe are the
highest priority.

Coordinating Fund Applications
Housing entities and service providers are willing but largely unaware of how to develop assisted
living and other supportive housing. Housing capital funds, rental subsidies, and support service
operating dollars are rarely coordinated. Notable exceptions are HUD/SHP, HUD 811 and 202
grants, and AHFC's Special Needs Housing Grant in coordination with Trust-funded Integrated
Supports for People with Co-Occurring Disorders through DHSS, a pilot project first available in
FY00.

AHFC’s Senior and Special Needs Housing Office regularly assists housing developers in
applying for grants and loans to create senior housing, and now assists in developing housing for
other populations as well. The Division of Senior Services is conducting a pilot project funded by
the Trust to develop assisted living in rural Alaska, which has leveraged a Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation grant. Since 1988, the Division of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities has
provided technical assistance to supportive housing developers. The staff in these three state




Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 15
offices—DMHDD, AHFC, and Senior Services—are largely responsible for assisting in bringing in
funding for supportive housing to Alaskans with disabilities.

Housing for Substance Abusers
There is a continuing misperception that housing for substance abusers is ineligible for HUD and
AHFC funding. Federal rules on public housing preclude occupancy with drug-related felony
convictions. This makes sense to protect other public housing residents from potentially
dangerous situations. However, a large number of Alaskans who have such felony convictions
could benefit from supportive
transitional (six to 24 months’ tenancy)   In Anchorage, RurAL CAP's Homeward Bound and
housing, and for some, permanent           the Arc's Bryn Mawr both provide supportive
supportive housing (more than 24           housing for such individuals using HUD's
months).                                   Continuum of Care/SHP with match from AHFC.
                                           The Arc program bills Medicaid for mental health
Developing transitional and permanent      and developmental disabilities services and has a
housing with supports for such             very small substance abuse treatment grant as
individuals requires a thorough            well. RurAL CAP is leveraging federal and state
understanding of local zoning laws and     employment funding for micro-enterprise
USDA, HUD, AHFC, NAHASDA                   development. Programs like these have
programs that provide capital and          demonstrated success in assisting chronic
rental assistance as well as limited       substance abusers with mental illness and
supportive services. Operating these       developmental disabilities in recovering from
programs requires a thorough               substance abuse, and in developing personal and
understanding of Medicaid, state           economic self-sufficiency.
grants, and IHS funds.

NIMBY
In several Alaskan communities, negative reactions to proposed supportive housing
arrangements have presented challenges to project sponsors. In Anchorage, Wasilla, Kenai, and
other communities, the “not in my back yard” phenomenon has created zoning restrictions that
seriously inhibit the development of supportive housing. In Anchorage, the term “quasi-
institutional use” now includes most supportive housing and assisted living, even private homes
where personal care is brought in.

Indicators
•       Number of units approved for the Assistance Provider Interest Rate Reduction Program.
•       Number of units of housing funded through the Multi-Family, Congregate, & Special
        Needs Loan Program to serve people with special needs
•       Number of units created under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to serve
        people with special needs
•       Number of units funded under the Senior Housing Loan Program
•       Number of units funded under the Senior Citizens Housing Development Grant Fund
•       Number of units developed & maintained through HUD 811
•       Number of units targeting people with special needs funded through HUD/HOME
•       Number of permanent housing units developed or supported through HUD Continuum of
        Care
•       Number of Indian Housing Plans that permit special needs housing such as assisted
        livi ng
•       Number of units for people with special needs built under NAHASDA Indian Housing
        Plans
•       Number of units built under USDA Section 502 mortgage program
•       Number of beneficiaries released from corrections and API to supportive/assisted
        housing
•       Inventory of Special Needs and Supportive Housing




Housing resource document draft                                                            p. 16
Inventory of Special Needs and Supportive Housing
Figure XXX shows the special needs housing inventory for Alaska (excluding Anchorage) in 1995
and 2000. Housing terminology can be confusing and varies depending on the agency and
population served. The following definitions apply to this inventory. Public housing and
accessible units refer to permanent housing operated by the AHFC; some of these units are
designed for people with physical disabilities. Crisis and Emergency Respite slots are facilities
that offer emergency shelter and supportive services to people with disabilities. The number of
slots is the total capacity of the facility. Intermediate drug treatment facilities are residential drug
treatment options in the community. Non profit sponsored supported apartments are those
housing units owned and operated by any number of non-profit entities such as local Community
Mental Health Centers. An assisted living and group home is housing that assists individuals with
some activities of daily living. Group home facilities are homes that accommodate more than one
unrelated person with a disability and provide a full-time supervised setting. Transitional housing
refers to housing that bridges the gap between homelessness and permanent housing.
Transitional housing generally provides housing and supportive services to people from 2 to 24
months.

Figure XXX shows the Alaska special needs housing excluding Anchorage. It appears that
between 1995 and 2000 there has been an increase in the number total number of housing units
available but Crisis and Emergency Respite slots and Intermediate Drug Treatment facilities have
slightly decreased.




Anchorage housing needs and available inventory were recently analyzed in preparation for a
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2001 Continuum of Care and
Homeless Assistance Competition. According to the analysis, there are an estimated 1,555
homeless individuals in Anchorage and 259 homeless adults with children. The current housing
inventory provides for approximately 1,000 units for individuals leaving over a need for one third
again as many slots. The need for housing for families with children is also high with only 60
percent of the necessary space available.




Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 17
            Number of beneficiaries released from corrections and API to homeless shelters.
            ACCESS - Christiane Brems SOON TO ARRIVE AS DATA!

            GRAPH TO GO HERE

            One of the requirements of supportive housing is for the provision of associated supportive
            services. The Anchorage analysis explored the kinds and availability of supportive services
            needed by the Anchorage homeless population. Results revealed that Homeless individuals need
            a significant number of additional supportive service slots in every category except health care.
            Figure XXX shows the results of the survey.




            Sections 202 and 811 grants in Alaska by FY

Data     FY94      FY95      FY96       FY97      FY98       FY99    FY00                   FY01          Grand Total
Projects   3         1         2          *          3          3      0                                      12+
# Units   43         5        35          *         30         30      0                                     143*
Funds $3,137,100 $570,000 $4,506,400 $3,487,200 $4,355,300 $5,300,000 $0                                  $26,486,000



            Housing resource document draft                                                            p. 18
*Data unavailable from HUD

What works
Funding considerations for supportive or assisted housing basically fall into three categories –
capital, building operation, and supportive or program services. Capital funds are initially sought
to build, buy or buy-and-substantially-renovate a residential structure. Capital funds are also
needed to acquire the initial equipment and furnishings for the housing site. Once the housing is
in place, operating funds are needed to pay for insurance, utilities, and ongoing property
management and maintenance. Supportive services may be quite extensive, as in the case of
assisted living or they may not even be directly provided by the agency operating the housing
itself. Typically, the agency providing the housing will provide a property manager and
maintenance workers. Intake workers, night monitors, case managers and other service
specialists more often fall under the purview of the supportive service provider. Services such as
life skills training, education and employment counseling, transportation, substance abuse
treatment, or mental health counseling may be provided by yet another agency through service
agreements. The following is a list of some of the resources that have been used to provide
supportive and assisted housing in Alaska:

USDA Section 515 and Assisted Living
USDA Section 515 grants are a viable funding source for senior housing development, but
preclude development of assisted living. However, two years after a sponsor has secured and
implemented a Section 515 grant, the sponsor may then apply for a Section 502 grant to convert
the independent living into assisted living.

Pre-development
AHFC was authorized to fund pre-development of senior housing projects in FY00 and FY01. The
FY00 funds helped 10 projects. AHFC could fund pre-development for other special needs
projects under an existing multi-family grant program, but has not been successful in getting any
funding authorization from the legislature.

USDA Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program
Direct, competitive mortgage loans made to provide affordable multifamily rental housing for very
low-, low-, and moderate-income families; the elderly; and persons with disabilities. In new
Section 515 projects, 95 percent of tenants must have very low incomes. In existing projects 75
percent of new tenants must have very low incomes. There are four variations of the Section 515
loan program: Cooperative Housing, Downtown Renewal Areas, Congregate Housing or Group
Homes for Persons with Disabilities, and the Rural Housing Demonstration Program. Loans are
for up to 50 years at an effective 1 percent interest rate. Individuals, partnerships, limited
partnerships, for-profit corporations, nonprofit organizations, limited equity cooperatives, Native
American tribes, and public agencies are eligible to apply for the Multi-family Housing Direct Loan
program. For-profit borrowers must agree to operate on a limited-profit basis. Borrowers must be
unable to obtain credit elsewhere that will allow them to charge rents affordable to low- and
moderate-income tenants. Loans of up to $1.5 million are approved by state Directors; loan
requests above $1.5 million are approved at the national level. In Alaska, one project was funded
in FFY00 at $750,000 for 10 units in Naknek. In FFY01, there is one application pending for 10
units in Mountain Village.

USDA Section 521 Multi-family Housing: Rental Assistance Program
Rent subsidies for elderly, disabled, and low-income residents of multi-family housing complexes
built under Section 515 and 514 programs.

USDA Section 505
This program allows Section 515 project owners to convert the independent living properties into
assisted living, once the Section 515 property has been in operation for two years.



Housing resource document draft                                                               p. 19
AHFC Assistance Provider Interest Rate Reduction
This program was developed to provide an incentive, by subsidizing interest rates, to increase the
availability of housing that is occupied by a live-in care provider, who provides assistance in
activities of daily living for individuals with either a physical or mental disability. The housing must
be appropriate to meet the needs of the occupants and their care provider. The assistance must
be provided in a residential setting in a structure that does not exceed a four-plex in nature. The
loan must be for acquisition, acquisition with rehabilitation and/or improvement of existing
property, take-out of a construction loan for new housing, and refinances. At least two occupants
must reside in the housing. The care must be provided on-site by a live -in provider; and the
housing must be licensed by the appropriate authority for its intended use. Eligible borrowers
include individuals, partnerships, joint ventures, non-profits, trusts, and regional housing
authorities. The interest-rate reduction is based on the initial number of occupants for. If there are
2 to 3 occupants, the rate of reduction is 3.5%. If there are 4 to 5 occupants, the rate of reduction
is 2.5%.

AHFC Multi-Family, Congregate, & Special Needs Loan Program
Promotes affordable housing for persons of lower- to moderate- income for the purpose of
acquisition, rehabilitation, and refinance. Primarily used for financing new construction and by
nonprofit borrowers. Multi-family, senior, physically and developmentally disabled, emergency
shelter, transitional, and congregate units are eligible uses. Individuals, non-profits, for-profits and
state or municipal agencies are eligible borrowers. The Loan-to-Value ratio is based on an
acceptable risk as determined by cash flow of the housing.

AHFC Multi-family/Special Needs Soft Second Mortgage Program
Provides moderate assistance to a project so a rental project becomes feasible. The primary use
has been new construction & acquisition with major rehabilitation. The program is often used in
conjunction with tax credits. Tenant income and rent restrictions apply. It provides a soft second
repayable through available cash flow at rate of 1.5%. If the project does not generate sufficient
income, there is no payment.

HUD Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance/Supportive Housing Program
The Supportive Housing Program is designed to promote the development of supportive housing
and supportive services to assist homeless persons in the transition from homelessness and to a
permanent housing situation that allows them to live as independently as possible. States, local
governments, other government entities, private nonprofit organizations, and community mental
health associations that are public nonprofit organizations may apply. Funds are awarded
competitively, but require a community coordinating process. Grants may be made available for
up to three years. Program funds may be used to provide:
    • Permanent housing provided in conjunction with appropriate supportive services
         designed to maximize the ability of persons with disabilities to live as independently as
         possible;
    • Supportive housing that is, or is part of, a particularly innovative project for, or alternative
         method of, meeting the immediate and long-term needs of homeless individuals and
         families; and
    •    Supportive services for homeless individuals not provided in conjunction with supportive
         housing,

Most of Alaska’s Continuum of Care funds come in the way of Supportive Housing Program
grants. Since FFY00, Congress has placed a high priority on permanent housing for persons with
disabilities and has earmarked 30% of its annual allocation to this program for this category of
housing. To meet this required percentage, HUD has been offering sizeable “bonuses” for the
development of new permanent projects. Considering that most Continuums have hit a funding
“wall” due to the cost of prior grant renewals, this bonus has virtually been the only means to
expand housing through this funding source.

AHFC Grant Match Program



Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 20
AHFC’s Grant Match Program is designed to increase the amount of housing funds that flow into
the state and to foster the growth of public/private partnerships. Using corporate funds,
authorized by the legislature, AHFC makes it possible for housing agencies to apply for federal
and other grants that require local match to be eligible or competitive for funding. (Note: Private
individuals are not eligible to apply for the Grant Match Program.) Due to recent reductions in
funding authorization for this program, AHFC has had to limit the number of grant programs to
which it can offer match assistance. The HUD/SHP program is one of AHFC’s highest priorities
for Grant Match.

HUD Shelter Plus Care (Continuum of Care)
Shelter Plus Care (SH+C) is another permanent housing program designed to link rental
assistance to supportive services for hard-to-reach homeless persons with disabilities (primarily
those who are seriously mentally ill; have chronic problems with alcohol, drugs or both; or have
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related diseases) and their families. Each
SH+C grant must be matched in the aggregate by supportive services that are equal in value to
the amount of rental assistance and appropriate to the needs of the population to be served.
AHFC has been administering a $1million SH+C grant in Anchorage since 1996 and recently
received $152,640 in FFY00 for a program in Bethel.

HUD Section 811/202 Supportive Housing for Persons With Disabilities or who are Elderly
Two programs that offer both development funding and operating support are the Section 811
and Section 202 programs. The Section 811 program is designated for low-income persons with
disabilities and the 202 program is designated for low-income elderly persons over the age of 62.
Under the Section 811 program, disabilities are separated into three major categories: physical
disability, developmental disability and chronic mental illness. The person with the disability must
be 18 years of age or older and the disability must impede three or more areas of major life
activity and be likely to continue indefinitely. Both programs require that the sponsor agency
establish a “single-asset” non-profit housing organization to oversee the development and
management of each 811/202 property. Each HUD region receives an allocation of Section 811
funds annually, which are made available to nonprofit organizations through a national
competition. Because of limited funding ($121.2 million dollars in FY 2001), the Section 811
program is extremely competitive.

The types of housing that can be developed with Section 811 capital advance funds include small
group homes, independent living projects and dwelling units in multifamily housing developments,
condominium and cooperative housing. A single application must propose at least five units, not
necessarily in one structure if the project will be an independent living project and two units if the
project will be a group home. Non-profit organizations are eligible applicants.

Capital advances may be used to construct, rehabilitate, or acquire structures, to be developed
into a variety of housing options. Capital advance funds bear no interest and are based on
development cost limits. Repayment of the capital advance is not required as long as the housing
remains available for at least 40 years for occupancy by very low-income persons with
disabilities. (In high cost areas like Alaska, the capital advance may not be adequate so additional
grants or loans are needed to complete the development phase.) After the units open, HUD will
provide a project rental assistance contract (PRAC) to cover the difference between the tenants'
contributions toward rent (30 percent of adjusted income) and the HUD-approved cost to operate
the project. The initial subsidy period is five years, with options to renew. There are limits to
funding available for housing, depending on unit size and population. To be eligible, a renter must
be at 50% of the median income for the area where the housing is located.

For the first time since 1988, Alaska had no applications for HUD 811 grants in 2000--a loss of
$2.5 million designated for the state in construction and 40 years of rental subsidies for
supportive housing to people with disabilities. This coincided with a change in priorities at
DMHDD. DMHDD is assisting in HUD 811 applications again. In 2001, HUD had a number of
applications from across the state for both programs.


Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 21
HUD Assisted Living Conversion Program
$50 million is available for the physical conversion of Section 202 projects or portions of projects
to assisted living facilities. The purpose is to provide the owners/borrowers of Section 202
projects with a grant to allow conversion of some or all of the units in these housing projects into
assisted living facilities serving frail elderly.

Eligible activities are retrofitting to meet accessibility requirements and health and safety
standards for assisted living facilities in that jurisdiction; to add, modify and/or outfit common
space, office or related space for staff including a service coordinator and file security, and/or a
central kitchen/dining facility to support the assisted living function; to upgrade a regular unit to an
accessible unit for a person/family with disabilities; and the cost of temporary relocation and
consultant, architectural and legal fees.

AHFC Beneficiary and Special Needs Housing Grant Program
The purpose of this demonstration program is to provide capital and operating funds at the same
time to develop supportive housing for “hard-to-serve” severely mentally ill adults who have a
history of “cycling” through the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) or through Department of
Corrections (DOC) facilities. Permanent or transitional independent housing are eligible activities.
The intent is to produce housing as close to a normal residential setting as possible. AHFC,
DHSS, and the Trust are coordinating this project in which AHFC will be providing capital funds
for the development of the physical structure. When the housing is developed, theTrust and
DHSS will contribute start-up funding for operating expenses in the form of rent payments for
tenants. Tenancy is not conditioned on receiving community-based services from a particular
provider.

HUD Multifamily Housing Service Coordinators
This HUD program allows multifamily housing owners to assist elderly residents and resident with
disabilities to obtain needed supportive services from the community; to prevent premature and
unnecessary institutionalization; and to assess individual service needs, determine eligibility for
public services, and make resource allocation decisions which enable residents to stay in the
community longer. Eligible applicants are owners of Sections 202 and Section 202/8 existing
Section 8 projects with project-based assistance. HUD uses a lottery process to select grantees.
$25 million was available in FFY00.

HUD Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Grants
The purpose of ROSS is to link services to public housing residents by providing grants for
supportive services, resident empowerment activities and activities to assist residents in
becoming economically self-sufficient. This program is consistent with the HUD’s goal to focus
resources on "welfare to work" and on independent living for the elderly and persons with
disabilities. PHAs, Resident Organizations, Intermediary Resident Organizations, and non-profits
supported by public housing residents may apply. There is a 25% match required.

AHFC has $93,666 available for ROSS. These funds pay for service coordination programs in
Anchorage and Fairbanks. The Heavy Chore Services Program provides housekeeping services
to 50 frail or "at-risk" elderly/disabled residents in Fairbanks. The grant also funds a half-time
service coordinator who assists 62 elderly and disabled residents to remain independent or “age
in place” in their own homes.

HUD Housing Choice Voucher/Rental Certificate Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Coordinators
The Housing Choice Voucher/Rental Certificate FSS program promotes development of local
strategies to coordinate vouchers and rental certificates with public and private resources to help
participating families to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. The FSS program
coordinator assures that program participants are linked to the supportive services they need to
achieve self-sufficiency. Public housing agencies (PHAs) with HUD approval to operate Section 8
FSS programs of at least 25 slots. AHFC has one FSS program coordinator, located in the DHSS


Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 22
Division of Public Assistance in Anchorage. AHFC receives $139,745 from HUD for the Family
Self-Sufficiency Program.

NAHASDA Supported Housing and Assisted Living
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Supported housing
and assisted living can be included.

HUD Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Program
This program was created in 1987 to provide rental assistance to homeless individuals in
rehabilitated single room occupancy housing. The SRO units may provide food preparation and
sanitary facilities individually or in a shared setting. Public housing authorities and private non-
profit organizations are eligible applicants for SRO funding. However, private non-profit agencies
must contract with a public housing authority for administration of the SRO rental assistance. To
be eligible for SRO rental assistance, a unit must require at least $3,000 worth of rehabilitation to
meet HUD’s Physical Condition Standards (PCS). Once the rehabilitation is completed, the SRO
is eligible for up to 10 years of rental assistance that can be renewed. This program has been
used to convert old hotels, schools and other public buildings into housing units for homeless
individuals. To date, the only project in Alaska that has been developed under this particular
program is the Adelaide in Anchorage. This 73-unit facility was developed by Anchorage
Neighborhood Housing Services, and is managed by its subsidiary, Anchorage Mutual Housing
Association.

AHFC Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living (GOAL) Program
The GOAL program provides a “one-stop” application process for grants, federal tax credits, and
zero-interest federal loans to developers and project sponsors who build affordable rental housing
for low-to-moderate income families and seniors. The program is open to for-profit corporations,
non-profit agencies, individuals, and regional housing authorities. Three funding sources are
included in the GOAL program. They are the HOME Opportunity Investment Program, the Low-
Income Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and the Senior Citizens Housing Development Fund
(SCHDF). GOAL competitions are generally held on an annual basis.

The HOME program is an entitlement that is awarded to Alaska by HUD each year. The portion of
that entitlement that is allocated for the GOAL program is for the development of rental housing
for low-to-moderate income families. Amount of funding varies each year but averages $1.5
million. Non-profits may receive grants or loans. For-profits may receive only loans.

LIHTC is an Internal Revenue Service program that provides federal income tax credits to owners
of rental housing where a number of units are set aside for low and moderate income families.
Owners can use the tax credit in two ways: 1) To offset their own personal federal income tax
liability, or 2) "Sell" the credit to investors and use the funds to support the development cost of
the project. The amount of credit a project is eligible for is equal to a percentage of the costs
attributable to the set-aside units. Alaska is limited to allocating $1.25 in tax credits per capita, per
year, or approximately $760,000.
SCHDF is an AHFC funded program subject to legislative authorization each year. The total
dollar amount varies each year, but has ranged from $750,000 to $1.5 million. There is no funding
available during the application process. Projects that are reviewed and meet the threshold
requirements are submitted to the legislature in support of AHFC’s annual capital budget request.
The amount of funding authorized by the legislature directly determines the number of projects
that are funded. Grants are made only to non-profit agencies. For-profit organizations may not
receive SCHDF funds.


AHFC Senior Housing Loan Program
Through this program, AHFC provides affordable, accessible housing for senior citizens.
Individuals, partnerships, joint ventures, for-profit corporations, regional housing authorities, non-
profit corporations or local governments can apply for financing to purchase, construct,



Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 23
rehabilitate or improve various types of housing that would meet the special needs of persons 60
years of age or older. Types of housing that could qualify for financing include conventional
housing, housing for the frail elderly, group homes, congregate housing, and assisted living
facilities. The term of the loan may not exceed 30 years or the remaining estimated economic life
of the facility.

USDA Section 538 Rural Rental Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
This Guaranteed Loan program funds construction of multi-family housing units to be occupied by
low-income families. The Rural Housing Service guarantees up to 90 percent of the amount of a
loan from a private lender to a housing developer. Occupants must be very low-to moderate-
income households OR elderly, handicapped, or disabled persons with income not in excess of
115 percent of median income of the surrounding area. Loans of up to $1.5 million are approved
by state Directors; loan requests above $1.5 million are approved at the national level. In Alaska,
219 loans were approved in FFY00 for a total of $26,757,753.

NAHASDA Supported Housing and Assisted Living
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Supported housing
and assisted living can be included.

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waivers
There are three Medicaid waiver programs that provide alternatives for elderly and disabled
adults with significant care needs who might otherwise require nursing home or other institutional
care. Two programs are managed by the Division of Senior Services, and the other is managed
by the Division on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. The waivers are very flexible
and can cover such costs as care coordination, chore services, meals and nutrition, habilitation
services (including activities of daily living), respite care, adaptive equipment, and non-medical
transportation.

Strategies
•   Continue pilot project for people with co-occurring disorders through AHFC, the Trust, and
    DHSS.
•   Maintain DMHDD technical assistance to supportive housing developers on HUD 811 grants
•   Support national efforts to “streamline” the HUD 811 application process
•   Continue expanded role of Senior and Special Needs Housing Office at AHFC.
•   Continue rural long-term care development position at DSS, currently funded by the Trust.
•   Work with USDA, AHFC, HUD, TDHEs, the Governor, and the legislature to develop funding
    sources for types of housing and facilities that benefit people with mental or cognitive
    disorders, developmental disabilities and chemical addictions and that are outside of AHFC’s
    statutory mission.
•   Conduct a concerted education effort with elected officials and staffs of municipalities,
    perhaps through the Municipal League, to improve understanding of the need for and use of
    permanent supportive housing and assisted living.
•   Develop a strategy for the delivery of supportive services necessary for the optimal
    community integration of people with cognitive, mental, or developmental disabilities, thereby
    increasing housing choice.
•   Support development of permanent housing with supportive services for people completing
    substance abuse or mental health treatment programs and returning to the community
•   Work with housing and service funders to make sure people transitioning out of or diverted
    from nursing homes and institutional placements receive a priority in housing and support
    programs.
•   Expand capacity of sponsors to access special needs housing programs through continued
    HUD-funded technical assistance, encouraging development of transitional and permanent
    housing for Trust beneficiaries.
•   Change USDA Section 515 grant language to permit development of assisted living to reduce
    unnecessary development costs.



Housing resource document draft                                                              p. 24
•   Assist the Governor and legislature to understand that AHFC should provide funding for pre-
    development activities for all special needs housing providers
•   Regularly identify populations by region that could benefit from specialized housing finance or
    supportive housing, their needs that affect construction and finance. This could demonstrate
    positive community impact of providing specialized housing finance or supportive housing to
    people with special needs, such as reduced institutional use of jails, transfer stations,
    community service patrol, nursing homes, hospitals and psychiatric hospitals.
•   Maintain financial incentives for developing assisted living, including the Assistance Provider
    Interest Rate Reduction Program at AHFC
•   Improve service provider response mechanisms to intervene in the event of a housing crisis
    and prevent evictions of persons with disabilities

Rental Housing & Assistance
Background

To many Trust beneficiaries, rental housing is essentially the “bridge” between the seemingly
unattainable dream of homeownership and continued residency in a relative’s home or public
institution. Since most beneficiaries also tend to have very low incomes, the development of an
adequate stock of affordable rental housing in a community is essential.

A disability advocacy group, the Technical Assistance Collaborative, found that in 2000, “there
was not one single housing market in the country where a person with a disability receiving SSI
benefits could afford to rent a modest efficiency or one-bedroom unit.¹ In a study conducted in
2001by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Alaska was ranked #7 among the top ten
least affordable states for rental housing. With a SSI payment of only $874 per month,
approximately 74% of that payment is needed to cover the average “Fair Market Rent” for a
modest housing unit.² Without some additional form of rental assistance, persons with disabilities
who want to establish a home of their own would be hard pressed to meet any other basic needs
such as utilities, food, clothing or transportation.

There are three basic types of rental assistance, which tend to originate from either the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA). These three types are:

•   Project Based Rental Assistance
•   Tenant Based Rental Assistance (Vouchers)
•   Special Grant Programs

Project based rental assistance is essentially a rent subsidy that is attached to a particular
housing unit to make it affordable for low-income persons. Many of the project based units that
operate in Alaska were developed in the 1970s and 80s under HUD’s Public and Indian
Housing Program or a special, stand-alone program called “Section 8 New.” (The latter was
discontinued in the late 80s.) The Public Housing Division of the Alaska Housing Finance
Corporation (AHFC) manages approximately 1700 units of Conventional and Section 8 New
housing in 15 communities around the state. Regional housing authorities own and operate
approximately 1,078 rental units for Native Americans. Under the current Native American
Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), these rental units are referred to as “CAS” or
currently assisted stock.

Tenant based assistance is rental assistance that stays with the tenant under certain conditions
when they move from unit to unit. The largest tenant based program in Alaska is the Housing
Choice Voucher Program (formerly called Section 8 Existing), administered by the Public
Housing Division of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). AHFC manages approximately



Housing resource document draft                                                              p. 25
2700 vouchers in 11 Alaskan communities including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau,
Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su, Petersburg, Sitka, and Valdez. The only way AHFC receives
additional vouchers is through Congressional appropriation. For example, in FY2001, AHFC
received a new increment of 310 vouchers. Included in this increment was a 50-voucher set-
aside for persons with Medicaid waivers. Some voucher increments for persons with disabilities
are distributed nationally by lottery. To date, Alaska has never experienced “the luck of the
draw.”

AHFC provides a preference for persons who are disabled, homeless or who are paying more
than 50 percent of their income for rent, on the waiting lists for the Section 8 Voucher program
and the Public Housing program. The current preferences are:
         Substandard housing to include homelessness (16 points)
         Displacement due to Domestic Violence, natural disaster, or family reunification (20
         points)
         Rent burden greater than 50% of income (14 points)
         Working family including a family whose head and spouse or sole member is age 62 or
         older, or is a person with disabilities (2 points)
         Veteran (2 points)
         Terminally Ill (4 points)
Preference points are cumulative for all those circumstances where an applicant provides
documentation, so a person with a physical or mental disability who is in substandard housing or
homeless and who pays a high rent burden would accumulate 32 points of a total possible 52.The
intent of this strategy is to increase access to subsidized housing for these populations. Almost
3,000 non-elderly people are on the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s wait list for public
housing.

Unlike other housing authorities, AHFC does not close its waiting list. One of the problems has
been communication with service providers to encourage providers to get their clients on the
waiting lists for these programs. Applicants must reply to a “six month notice” concerning their
continued interest in housing assistance. If there is no response to the six-month notice, the
applicant’s name is removed from the list.

AHFC has a number of rental assistance vouchers that are intended for persons with disabilities.
However, AHFC’s waiting list statistics show that a very small number of people have any
disability preference. AHFC staff are prohibited by law from inquiring about an applicant’s
disability. To receive a housing priority, people must identify that they have a disability and make
sure they are placed on the waiting list.




Figure XXX shows the number of people with disabilities on the AHFC wait list for assisted
housing. Anecdotally, AHFC believes there are many more people who could and should be on
the wait list than are at present because of the way the list is managed. AHFC recommends



Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 26
more education and training for service provi ders and consumers to inform them about housing
preferences and what it is that they must do in order to receive AHFC housing help.

Special Grant Programs have been developed by HUD over the years to provide immediate
rental assistance to persons with special needs who might otherwise wait a very long time on
public housing waiting lists. However, rental assistance is often just one item on a “menu” of
eligible activities so a grant applicant may or may not select that option. Due to the time-limited
nature of many of these grants, agencies that do opt to provide rental assistance usually require
their clients to apply for longer-term housing vouchers such as Housing Choice. Here in Alaska,
the following grant programs have been used to provide rental assistance:

•   Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)
•   Supportive Housing Program (SHP)
•   Shelter+Care
•   Formula grants (HOME & NAHASDA)

Barriers to Using Rental Assistance
It is common practice for landlords to require first and last month’s rent as well as a security
deposit in order to move into rental housing. This requires an accumulation of assets not always
easily available. Landlord resistance to participation in the voucher program is also widespread.
Landlord surveys have cited excess paperwork, prior tenant problems and rent-up delays as
reasons for declining to participate. In some communities, many of the units that come under the
“Fair Market Rent” limits are substandard and unable to pass the Housing Qualities Standards
(HQS) required by HUD.

Resources
USDA Section 514/515/616 Rental Housing
Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants are provided to buy, build, improve, or repair housing
for farm laborers, including persons whose income is earned in aquaculture (fish and oyster
farms) and those engaged in on-farm processing. Loans are made to farmers, Indian tribes,
nonprofit organizations, public agencies, associations of farmworkers, and limited partnerships in
which the general partner is a nonprofit entity. Typically, loan applicants are unable to obtain
credit elsewhere, but in some instances, farmers able to get credit elsewhere may obtain loans at
a rate of interest based on the cost of federal borrowing. Grants are made to farmworker
associations, nonprofit organizations, Indian tribes, and public agencies. Funds may be used in
urban areas for nearby farm labor (an exception to RHS's usual service area). Rural Rental
Housing (515) Loans are direct, competitive mortgage loans made to provide affordable
multifamily rental housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families; elderly persons; and
persons with disabilities.




Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 27
USDA Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance
The Rural Rental Assistance (RA) program provides an additional subsidy for households with
incomes too low to pay the RHS subsidized (basic) rent from their own resources. RHS pays the
owner the difference between the tenant's contribution (30 percent of adjusted income) and the
monthly rental rate, including the cost of all utilities and services. Rental assistance may be used
in both existing and newly constructed RHS Section 515- or 514-financed projects. Projects must
be established on a nonprofit or limited profit basis. RHS and the project owner execute a five-
year contract in which RHS commits payments on behalf of tenants in a designated number or
percentage of the units. Both RHS and the project owner agree to be bound by all applicable
RHS regulations. The contract becomes effective on the first day of the month in which it is
executed (additional units may be covered if funds are available and an additional contract is
executed). The agreement may be renewed as many times as funds are made available. State
Directors may transfer unused and unneeded contracts or portions of contracts to other projects.

USDA Section 524 Rural Housing Site Loans
This program provides Government funding for a public or private non-profit organization to buy
and develop building sites, including the construction of access roads, streets, and utilities. Sites
developed under this program may be sold to individual households, non-profit organizations,
public agencies, and cooperatives that provide financial assistance for housing to low- and
moderate-income families.

Section 524 loans are made to acquire and develop sites for any low- or moderate-income family.
Low income is defined as between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income (AMI); the
upper limit for moderate income is $5,500 above the low-income limit. Section 524 loans are
made to private or public nonprofit organizations. Section 524 sites may be sold to low- or
moderate-income families using RHS or any other mortgage financing program which serves the
same eligible families. Loans are for two years and bear the market rate of interest either at the
time of approval or at the time of the loan closing.

USDA Section 538 Rural Rental Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
This Guaranteed Loan program funds construction of multi-family housing units to be occupied by
low-income families. The Rural Housing Service guarantees up to 90 percent of the amount of a
loan from a private lender to a housing developer. Occupants must be very low-to moderate-
income households OR elderly, handicapped, or disabled persons with income not in excess of
115 percent of median income of the surrounding area. Loans of up to $1.5 million are approved
by state Directors; loan requests above $1.5 million are approved at the national level. In Alaska,
219 loans were approved in FFY00 for a total of $26,757,753.


AHFC Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living (GOAL) Program
The GOAL program provides a “one-stop” application process for grants, federal tax credits, and
zero-interest federal loans to developers and project sponsors who build affordable rental housing
for low-to-moderate income families and seniors. The program is open to for-profit corporations,
non-profit agencies, individuals, and regional housing authorities. Three funding sources are
included in the GOAL program. They are the HOME Opportunity Investment Program, the Low-
Income Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and the Senior Citizens Housing Development Fund
(SCHDF). GOAL competitions are generally held on an annual basis.

The HOME program is an entitlement that is awarded to Alaska by HUD each year. The portion of
that entitlement that is allocated for the GOAL program is for the development of rental housing
for low-to-moderate income families. Amount of funding varies each year but averages $1.5
million. Non-profits may receive grants or loans. For-profits may receive only loans.

LIHTC is an Internal Revenue Service program that provides federal income tax credits to owners
of rental housing where a number of units are set aside for low and moderate income families.
Owners can use the tax credit in two ways: 1) To offset their own personal federal income tax


Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 28
liability, or 2) "Sell" the credit to investors and use the funds to support the development cost of
the project. The amount of credit a project is eligible for is equal to a percentage of the costs
attributable to the set-aside units. Alaska is limited to allocating $1.25 in tax credits per capita, per
year, or approximately $760,000.
SCHDF is an AHFC funded program subject to legislative authorization each year. The total
dollar amount varies each year, but has ranged from $750,000 to $1.5 million. There is no funding
available during the application process. Projects that are reviewed and meet the threshold
requirements are submitted to the legislature in support of AHFC’s annual capital budget request.
The amount of funding authorized by the legislature directly determines the number of projects
that are funded. Grants are made only to non-profit agencies. For-profit organizations may not
receive SCHDF funds.


AHFC Senior Housing Loan Program
Through this program, AHFC provides affordable, accessible housing for senior citizens.
Individuals, partnerships, joint ventures, for-profit corporations, regional housing authorities, non-
profit corporations or local governments can apply for financing to purchase, construct,
rehabilitate or improve various types of housing that would meet the special needs of persons 60
years of age or older. Types of housing that could qualify for financing include conventional
housing, housing for the frail elderly, group homes, congregate housing, and assisted living
facilities. The term of the loan may not exceed 30 years or the remaining estimated economic life
of the facility.

AHFC Supplemental Housing Development Grant Program
The Supplemental Housing Development Grant Program provides AHFC's capital funding to
Regional Housing Authorities, which use the funds to supplement housing projects approved for
development under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing
Development Programs. The funds in AHFC’s program are limited to 20 percent of HUD’s Total
Development Cost per project and can only be used for the cost of on-site sewer and water
facilities, road construction to project sites, electrical distribution facilities, and energy-efficient
design features in the homes.

AHFC Public Housing
AHFC owns and operates 1,705 low-income units in 14 communities across the state for eligible
low-income and very low-income Alaskans statewide. Certain housing complexes are dedicated
exclusively for seniors and disabled persons. HUD provides operating subsidies to help Public
Housing Authorities operate and manage their public housing projects. The operating subsidies
are calculated in accordance with a regulatory formula.

HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly called Section 8) provides eligible low-income
Alaskans with a method of obtaining affordable housing. It helps families lease privately owned
rental units from participating landlords. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s Public
Housing Division administers the voucher program in 11 communities throughout Alaska.
Families whose income is at or below 50 percent of the area median income are encouraged to
apply. Income limits are set by HUD and are based on family size and the community where the
family resides. To use the Voucher, a private rental market landlord must enter into an agreement
with AHFC to receive the subsidy. The rent must be reasonable and within limits set by HUD (Fair
Market Rents). The unit also must pass the required HQS inspection. In FY00, AHFC received
funding for 310 new vouchers with approximately 50 set aside for people with disabilities or
families receiving a Medicaid waiver.

Municipality of Anchorage Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
The Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA) provides subsidies to bridge the gap
between the cost of decent rental housing and the amount a qualified low-income household can
afford to pay. This is a bridge for those on the waiting list for Section 8 housing. The Municipal



Housing resource document draft                                                                     p. 29
Department of Health and Human Services executes an agreement with landlords to accept
payments, ensures that units meet minimum HUD standards, and disburses a subsidy check
directly to the landlord. Tenants are free to select an acceptable unit located anywhere in the
Municipality. Tenants must qualify under the same low-income criteria as AnCHOR. This
program, which has a senior preference, serves between 30-35 households annually. In FFY00,
the Municipality has allocated $90,345 in HUD HOME funds for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.


NAHASDA rental development and rental assistance
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Rental housing
development and tenant rental assistance can be included.

HUD Fair Housing Initiative Program
The Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) assists projects and activities that combat Housing
Discrimination and increase compliance with the Fair Housing Act and substantially equivalent
State and local fair housing laws. All activities are funded under FHIP. Eligible applicants may
include: Qualified Fair Housing Organizations (QFHOs); Fair Housing Organizations (FHOs);
public or private non-profit organizations or institutions and other public or private entities that are
working to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices; State and local governments;
and Fair Housing Assistance Programs (FHAP) agencies, depending upon the
Initiative/Component. The Alaska Commission on Human Rights has a Fair Housing Initiative
grant.

Fair Housing Assistance Programs
The purpose of the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) is to provide assistance to State
and local fair housing enforcement agencies. The intent of this funding program is to build a
coordinated intergovernmental enforcement effort to further fair housing and to encourage the
agencies to assume a greater share of the responsibility for the administration and enforcement
of their fair housing laws and ordinances.

Alaska Commission on Human Rights
Passed in 1963, the Alaska Human Rights Law protects persons from housing discrimination on
the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, pregnancy, marital status, changes in
marital status, and physical and mental disability. The Alaska State Commission for Human
Rights is responsible for the enforcement of this law.

Municipality of Anchorage Equal Rights Commission
The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (AERC) enforces anti-housing discrimination laws in
Anchorage. In 2000, the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission conducts a fair housing education
project for people with disabilities.

Strategies
•   Work with service providers to encourage clients to apply for subsidized housing not only
    through AHFC but other federally subsidized programs that HUD and the USDA operate.
    1.      Educate clients and providers about all subsidized housing in Alaska.
    2.      Provide clients assistance in filling out applications to get on waiting lists.
    3.      Help clients remember to respond to “six month” notices so they are not taken off
            waiting lists.
•   AHFC should continue to apply for additional housing vouchers.
•   Develop Individual Development Accounts for rental housing rental and security deposits.
•   Work with AHFC, The Trust, DHSS and other knowledgeable agencies to develop providers’
    capacity to provide housing choice for people with mental or cognitive disorders,
    developmental disabilities, or chemical addiction.
•   Work with state and federal agencies to educate the public, private landlords and local
    governments about compliance with fair housing laws and the Americans with Disabilities
    Act.


Housing resource document draft                                                                   p. 30
•   Develop programs to assist landlords in rural communities upgrade their units to pass HQS
•   Conduct focus groups with voucher holders that failed to locate housing to determine causes



Home ownership
Background
Often, a person with a disability has the income stability and creditworthiness to own a home, but
cannot save enough funds for the down payment and closing costs and still have enough residual
funds for home maintenance and furnishings. Other times, the person has poor credit and needs
to resolve old debt in order to become eligible for loan programs.

Down Payment Assistance and Gap Financing
Down payment and closing costs present a major barrier to people with disabilities to purchasing
their own homes. This requires an accumulation of assets that can push an individual off disability
benefits. In addition, some beneficiaries have poor credit and require credit repair before they can
acquire financing for a home purchase. Lenders require mortgage insurance if a borrower’s down
payment is less than 20 percent of assessed value. This increases the monthly cost to the
borrower.

NAHASDA-funded down payment programs have demonstrated some successes, but also some
difficulties. For example, $30,000 to $40,000 soft second mortgages on $200,000 houses are
meaningless when there is no work income with which the owner can pay the mortgage.

The two largest down payment assistance programs are undergoing changes. The Municipality of
Anchorage’s AncHOR Program is going area-wide in 2001. This expands the area in which low-
income residents may use AncHOR Program-funded down payment assistance to purchase
homes, increasing demand on the program. At the same time, AHFC has capped the fund
amount for arbitrage-funded Loans to Sponsors, another down payment assistance program, to
$625,000 per year per sponsor. This increases the down payment program availability in other
parts of Alaska, while decreasing availability in Anchorage.

Learning to Save: Individual Development Accounts and Family Self-Sufficiency Plans
Living in poverty does not mean that an individual or family is unable to accumulate assets
towards home ownership and other goals. Individual Development Accounts, and Family Self-
Sufficiency Plans can assist individuals in acquiring enough assets to purchase their own homes
and achieve other goals related to self-sufficiency. Matching these funds provides the borrower
with more incentive to save. Accounts may be held in escrow and are not taxable.

Learning to be a Homeowner
Homebuyer classes and clubs and housing counseling are tools to building a good credit record,
repairing credit, and developing the skills necessary to be a long-term homeowner.

Indicators
•     Number of individuals with special needs assisted through the Municipality of Anchorage’s
      AnCHOR down payment assistance and/or home modification soft second mortgage
      programs
•     Number of individuals with special needs assisted through the Loans To Sponsors program
      and Home Opportunity Program
•     Number of individuals in Section 8 or Public Housing who are saving funds through the
      Family Self-sufficiency Program in order to purchase their own home
•     Number of homes owned by Trust beneficiaries that receive rehabilitation assistance

What Works


Housing resource document draft                                                               p. 31
AHFC First-Time Home Buyer Programs
AHFC currently has three financing options designed primarily for first-time home buyers: Taxable
First-Time Home Buyer, Tax-Exempt First-Time Home Buyer, and the Interest-Rate Reduction for
Low-Income Borrowers (IRRLIB). IRRLIB may be used in combination with both the Taxable and
Tax-Exempt First-Time Home Buyer options.

Eligible buyers who have not had an ownership interest in a primary residence in the last three
years may receive a lower interest rate on their mortgage. This program can offer lower interest
rates. Federal regulations set a maximum acquisition cost and maximum income limits for the
homebuyer. Owner-occupied, single-family residences, condos, some mobile homes, and duplex
dwellings with are eligible for this program. AHFC requires borrowers who participate in an
IRRLIB loan to attend an approved pre-purchase home buyer education course. Interest rate
reductions are based on on the annualized gross family income from all sources. This program
may be combined with other AHFC, FHA, VA, or RD programs.

AHFC Interest Rate Reduction to Low Income Borrowers (IRRLIB)
Qualified low-income borrowers may receive lower interest rates on their mortgages. If a
household has income over 80% of median, they no longer qualify for an interest rate reduction. If
income is at 60 to 80% of median, the reduction is 0.5%. If income is less than 60% of median,
the reduction is 1%. This program is funded through arbitrage, which is a source that is steadily
decreasing. As a result of arbitrage decreases, in 2001 AHFC changed the program by reducing
the interest rate reductions. In FY01, $12 million is available for IRRLIB.

AHFC Home-Buyer Education
Successful home ownership is more likely when the homebuyer is knowledgeable about the
process of obtaining and maintaining a home. AHFC offers an eight-hour, pre-purchase
homeowner seminar held over one or two days for Alaskans considering the purchase of a home.
Classes are offered statewide. Participants information from the experts on Pros and cons of
homeownership, mortgages, responsibilities of home ownership, budgeting, shopping for a home,
loan programs, and other topics. They may save up to $250 on AHFC's commitment fee.

AHFC Home Opportunity Program
Non-profit corporations and/or public agencies administer this program to provide down payment
and closing cost assistance to lower-income homebuyers. Grants are repaid pro rata if property is
sold or transferred before 10 years. This program is funded through HUD HOME funds, and the
FY01 allocation is $602,000 including program income.

AHFC Loans to Sponsors
This program gives a loan to a sponsor, which then loans the funds to borrowers with incomes
generally below 100% of median. Funds are loaned to sponsors at 0% and sponsor lends funds
to borrower at approved rate (3-5%). Funds can be used for improvement, acquisition, down
payment, and closing costs assistance. Grants are repaid pro rata if property is sold or
transferred before 10 years. Grants are generally used in conjunction with First Time Home
Buyers loans and Interest Rate Reduction Program for Low Income Borrowers. This program is
funded through arbitrage, which is a source that is steadily decreasing. As a result of arbitrage
decreases, in 2001 AHFC changed the program by reducing the income eligibility to 90% of
median instead of 100% of median, and limited funds annually to $625,000 to any one sponsor.
In FY01, $2.5 million is available for Loans To Sponsors.

AHFC Mobile Home Program
Some mobile homes may be financed under AHFC's Taxable Loan, Veterans Mortgage or First-
Time Homebuyer Programs. A 15 percent down payment is required on others. The second type
loan has limited terms and varies as to whether the mobile home is new or existing, is single-wide
or double-wide, or is on its own lot.




Housing resource document draft                                                              p. 32
AHFC Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program in AHFC’s Public Housing Department helps families in
public housing achieve economic self-sufficiency. All AHFC Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance
program participants and Public Housing residents living in Juneau are eligible to apply for this
program. As a family’s rent increases due to increases in earned income, AHFC credits a portion
of the family’s rent to the FSS escrow account. When a participant’s FSS contract meets HUD
requirements, the client is eligible to receive the monies in the FSS escrow account. Funds may
be used for education, job training, and counseling.

AHFC Rural Owner-Occupied Loan Program
This program provides financing for the purchase, construction or rehabilitation of a primary
residence to qualified borrowers who live in "small communities" in rural Alaska. The maximum
loan term is 30 years, or the remaining economic life of the property, whichever is less. Loans
made under this program are assumable by qualified borrowers. Conventional loans require a
minimum down payment of 5 percent on a single-family residence and 10 percent on a duplex.
For new construction built by the owner, the maximum financing is 100 percent of allowable cost,
not to exceed 95 percent of appraisal (90% on a duplex). Single-family homes and duplexes are
eligible for this program.

AHFC Rural Enhanced Loan Program
This program’s purpose is to increase homeownership for low-income borrowers in rural
communities with populations of 1400 or less. The maximum income is 100% of median. If
household income is between 80 and 100% of median, the interest rate reduction is 1%. If it is
less than 80% of median, the interest rate reduction is 2%. This program is funded through
arbitrage, which is a source that is steadily decreasing. As a result of arbitrage decreases, in
2001 AHFC changed the program by reducing the interest rate reductions. In FY01, $1 million is
available for this program.

USDA Section 502 Rural Housing Direct Loan
Individuals or families receive direct home loan at an affordable interest rate from the Rural
Housing Service. Families may qualify if their income is below 80% of the area median income.
May be used for purchase of existing home, for new construction, renovation, or to purchase or
prepare site. Must be in rural area. No down payment is required. Often paired with Section 523,
a "sweat equity" program. In Alaska, USDA spent $6,199,792 on 82 home loans. This is in
excess of Alaska’s federal allotment of approximately $4 million. USDA relies on under-
obligations in other states to generate excess funds available for funding housing loans in Alaska.

USDA Section 502 Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan
Individuals or families receive loan to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase
and prepare sites, including providing water & sewage facilities. Applicants may have an income
of up to 115% of area median income, but must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere. Loan may
be up to 100% of value, eliminating the need for a down payment.

USDA Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Housing Program
Homeowner site loans and technical assistance grants are given to non-profit & local government
organizations, supervising groups of 5 to 12 new homeowners. Members of each group help work
on each other's homes, moving in when all homes are completed. Qualified applicants complete
65% of the work to build his/her own home. Enrollees generally apply for Section 502 Rural
housing guaranteed loan for balance of housing cost.

USDA Section 502 Mutual Self-Help Housing
Qualified applicants complete 65% of the work to build his/her own home. Enrollees generally
apply for Section 502 Rural housing guaranteed loan for balance of housing cost.

Municipality of Anchorage Anchorage Communities Home Ownership Resource (AnCHOR)
Program


Housing resource document draft                                                              p. 33
The program assists low- to moderate-income families in becoming homeowners, and stabilizes
targeted neighborhoods by promoting home ownership by funding a portion of down payment and
closing costs. The down payment assistance funds lower the borrower’s first mortgage and make
the monthly payments more affordable. Down-payment assistance is in the form of a second
mortgage, secured by the real property. Borrowers must meet HUD’s low-income guidelines. Soft
second mortgages pay up to $25,000 for existing houses in part of Anchorage, up to $3,000 of
closing costs in the rest of the city, and $40,000 for new construction in some areas. A
percentage of the AnCHOR loan amount is forgiven at the end of each year. If the property
ceases to be the primary residence for any reason, the forgiveness provision will end and the full
amount of the assistance due at that time will remain as a lien on the property. No interest is
charged on the loan. The Municipality sets limits on assets that a borrower can have following the
costs of purchasing the house. In FFY00, the Municipality allocated $757,472 in HUD HOME
funds for the AnCHOR Program. In FFY01, the Municipality allocated $804,000 for the AnCHOR
Program.

HUD Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee
Section 184 loans provide access to sources of private financing to Indian families, Indian
Housing Authorities and Indian tribes who otherwise could not acquire housing financing because
of the unique legal status of Indian lands or as a result of a lack of access to private financial
markets. Mortgage financing is available for acquisition, construction (including manufactured
homes), rehabilitation or the acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing home, on tribal trust,
individual allotted trust or fee simple land in an Indian area (purview of a tribe or tribal housing
authority).

HUD Title VI Federal Guarantees for Financing Tribal Housing Activities
This demonstration loan program guarantees 95 percent of principal and interest of notes or other
obligations issued by Indian tribes or tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs) with tribal
approval for the purpose of financing affordable housing activities described in Section 202 of
NAHASDA. HUD may only provide the guarantee if financing cannot be completed without the
use of the guarantee. Eligible affordable housing activities are limited to housing assistance;
housing development; and model activities approved by HUD.
HUD has $54.3 million in guarantee authority for FY00, with          Title IV Loan Guarantees
$98.8 million in carryover from the previous two years. Once         Mountain Village leveraged
the $98.8 million in FY 1998 & 1999 guarantee has been               a bank loan of $1 million in
used, the authority for FY 2000 ($54.3 million) may be used          Title IV Loan guarantees to
for any of the affordable housing activities detailed in             build 11 homes in the spring
NAHASDA. Those activities include housing services,                  of 2000.
housing management services and crime prevention and
safety activities.

NAHASDA Home Ownership Programs
Each Tribally Designated Housing Entity writes its own Indian Housing Plan. Home ownership
programs can be included.

Strategies
•   Address the barriers that keep people with mental, cognitive or developmental disabilities
    from owning their own homes and explore ownership options for those segments of the
    population where it is feasible and appropriate.
•   Maintain and protect the Interest Rate Reduction Program for Low Income Borrowers at
    AHFC.
•   Maintain and supplement down payment programs, such as those at AHFC and the
    Municipality of Anchorage.
•   Develop gap-financing programs to cover non-mortgage-able home purchase costs.
•   Establish Individual Development Account program to assist people with disabilities to save
    funds towards home ownership and similar goals, matched by other fund sources.



Housing resource document draft                                                               p. 34
•   Expand and match Family Self-Sufficiency Plan funds through private Individual Development
    Account funds to assist Trust beneficiaries in becoming homeowners.



Staying at home
Background
Housing design in Alaska has varied in its ability to accommodate Alaskans who have mobility
impairments, who are deaf or blind, or who have difficulty in daily living because of other
disabilities. In some cases, a person may inherit a home from a family member, but lack the
means to make necessary repairs or modifications to accommodate a disability.

Home Modifications
Home modifications are intended to improve their ability to live in their own homes or in
community-based rentals. There are several home modification programs in Alaska. Some are
closely coordinated and managed. There are a small number of vendors who conduct home
modification activities in the state. These vendors need to apply to several agencies to receive
funding to modify homes.

Sometimes modifying the structure is not sufficient to assist an individual in staying in his/her own
home. Snow can be a significant barrier to leaving the home and accessing services or
community life. Cook Inlet Housing Authority plows driveways for eligible seniors, keeping them at
home longer.

Universal Design
Modifying an existing home can be quite helpful, but having homes designed to accommodate
disabilities can be more helpful as Alaskans age in place. Universal design could keep Alaskans
at home following a disabling accident, the birth of a child with a disability, or age-related
disabilities.

Indicators
•   Number of homes modified for elders or people with special needs under the Senior Home
    Modification, Owner Occupied Rehab, and Weatherization Program
•   Number of homes modified under the DHSS Home Modification Program
•   Number of homes modified under the DVR Home Modification Program
•   Number of Indian Housing Plans that permit home modifications
•   Number of homes modified under USDA Section 504 Program

What Works

USDA Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation grants & loans
The Section 504 program pays for grants and loans for home renovation & repair, including
accessibility accommodations for individuals with disabilities who own and occupy a dwelling in
need of repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are made to homeowners age 62 and older. Loans of up
to $20,000 at 1% are made for other low-income families & individuals. Loans and grants can be
combined for up to $27,500 in assistance. Homeowner-occupants must be unable to obtain
affordable credit elsewhere, and have very low incomes. They must need to make repairs and
improvements to make the dwelling more safe and sanitary or to remove health and safety
hazards. Individuals who have Section 504 grants or loans usually work with AHFC grantees—
mostly RurAL CAP—to package a combined project funded both by USDA and AHFC.In FFY00,
USDA gave out $175,475 in loans for improvements to 12 homes. In the same year, USDA gave
23 grants for $194,579. In FFY01, USDA has $288,000 available for Section 504 loans and
grants.




Housing resource document draft                                                                p. 35
USDA Section 533 Housing Preservation
This is a very small program. Since Congress cut the funding for this program in FY99, USDA has
awarded one grant of $30,000-$50,000 annually to a prior 533 recipient agency to renovate
existing low-income multi family units in rural Alaska and help individuals make repairs to private
homes. Grants are often leveraged with private or local government funds. AHFC matches USDA
funds at 100%. AHFC grantees package the deals, put together the bids and so on.

AHFC Weatherization Program
The second highest cost of owning or renting a home is heating it. Through this program, eligible
low-income Alaskans can lower the cost of heating their homes. AHFC grants funds to non-profit
organizations and municipalities. Program operators install energy-efficient improvements in
qualifying households. The improvements include storm windows, the addition of insulation, as
well as heating system improvements. The weatherization provided is based on the income of the
occupants of the dwelling. Renters and homeowners are eligible. AHFC expects that grantees will
weatherize 471 homes in FY00, when funding was cut substantially. In FY01, with about $4
million in AHFC corporate receipts, a larger number of homes will benefit. In FY99, AHFC
weatherized 941 homes for 2,853 Alaskans, including 193 elderly, 232 people with disabilities,
and 358 children under 6.

Municipality of Anchorage Weatherization Program
The Weatherization Program improves the health and welfare of low-income Anchorage residents
by upgrading their dwellings to make them more energy efficient, safe, and comfortable.
Participants must meet federal low-income criteria, and live within the Municipality of Anchorage.
Priority status is given to people with disabilities, elderly, and families w/ children under the age of
six. Participants may either own or rent the dwellings. Each dwelling is limited to one-time-only
program participation. The Weatherization Program typically serves over 300 Anchorage residents
yearly. This program is funded through an AHFC grant.

Municipality of Anchorage Emergency Repair Program
The Emergency Repair program provides up to $10,000 in grants to low- and moderate- income
homeowners within the Municipality to repair a single item presenting a threat to health or safety
in the home. Examples of eligible items include failed furnaces and water heaters, leaking roofs,
or rotting floors. General maintenance or weatherization improvements are not covered under
this program. In FFY00, the Municipality has allocated $429,600 for Emergency Repair Grants
from CDBG funds.

DHSS Home Modification Program
The purpose of this project is to increase the accessibility of current housing so Trust beneficiaries
can move into or remain in their own homes. AHFC and the Trust co-fund this project at $250,000,
managed by DHSS. Home modification services are available to people wherever they reside,
regardless if they own or rent and with whom they live. Typical kinds of assistance include:
accessibility modifications or additions (e.g. widen doorways, remodel bathrooms and/or kitchens,
install entrance ramps, add bathrooms and/or bedrooms), and related equipment. Grantees will
coordinate their efforts with the AHFC Weatherization Program and similar tribal and municipal
programs to supply essential repairs or upgrades to building structures (e.g. heating, plumbing,
and/or electrical systems, roofs, weather proofing, energy efficiency improvements). Grantees will
coordinate their efforts with Assistive Technologies of Alaska for accessibility equipment, loan,
and purchase assistance. They fund up to $10,000 per modification and place restrictions on the
properties that are modified. The average cost to this program for improvements is $7,000. In
FY00, there were 3 brokers: Access Alaska, serving the interior and northern regions; Anchorage
Neighborhood Housing Services, serving the Municipality of Anchorage; and Alaska Community
Development Corporation, serving areas outside of Anchorage. During that period, these vendors
modified 45 homes.


AHFC Senior and Statewide Deferred Maintenance


Housing resource document draft                                                                  p. 36
AHFC and the federal government fund $700,000 in senior and statewide deferred maintenance
projects. These funds are made available in one grant application along with Owner Occupied
Rehabilitation and Weatherization program grants.

AHFC Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program
AHFC allocates just over $1 million in HUD HOME funds to preserve and upgrade housing
through rehabilitation and weatherization. Energy efficiency and health and safety measures are
priorities, as are modifications to facilitate independent living. Homes must be occupied with
owners based on income level. AHFC selects non-profit agencies to broker the modifications. The
HOME Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program covers the state except for the Aleutian Chain,
Bristol Bay, and Municipality of Anchorage. The Municipality receives its own HOME funds from
HUD, so it is excluded. In FY00, there were no applicants to do modifications in Bristol Bay or the
Aleutians. Funds are in the form of soft second mortgages that are conditionally forgivable with
no interest. These funds are made available in one grant application along with Senior Home
Modification and Weatherization program grants.

 Municipality of Anchorage Disabled Access Program
The Disability Access Program (DAP) provides up to $10,000 in grants to low- to moderate-
income renters and owners needing to modify a housing unit for increased accessibility. The
Municipality has allocated $214,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for this
program in FFY00.

DVR Home Modification Program
AHFC provides the Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation with $100,000 to
modify homes of DVR clients.

NAHASDA-CIHA Safe and Healthy Home Program
Cook Inlet Housing Authority is one of 12 Regional Housing Authorities, most of which have
modification programs. CIHA serves Alaska Natives from Talkeetna to Seldovia to Chickaloon,
including Anchorage. They have four modification priorities: emergency repairs; serious life,
safety or property protection; ADA accessibility; and weatherization. They fund modifications for
owner-occupied properties where the owner is over age 55 or has a disability. This program can
be layered with other programs such as AHFC, USDA, DHSS and so on.

Medicaid Home and Community-based Waivers
Three Medicaid Waiver Programs cover home accessibility modifications for people who might
otherwise require nursing home or other institutional care. These environmental modifications are
funded at $10,000 each. Janet Clarke will see if she can get the fund amount that goes
towards environmental modifications.

Strategies
•   Coordinate existing home modification programs to facilitate statewide modification
    availability.
•   Encourage innovative home modification support programs.
•   Conduct a pilot project with the Alaska Homebuilders Association in universal design
    production and sales.




Housing resource document draft                                                               p. 37

				
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