cares photo illustration

cares photo illustration

Kenai extends deadline for housing relief responses

As of Dec. 24, 72 applicants had not responded when a caseworker reached out to them

Residents of the City of Kenai who applied for COVID-related housing relief through the city will have until Jan. 31 to respond to program outreach following a federal extension of the deadline by which CARES Act dollars must be spent.

The program offers up to $1,200 a month for the months of September through December in housing relief for households who live inside Kenai city limits, whose income at the time of application was less than $71,760 and whose income was reduced on or after March 11 due to COVID-19.

City of Kenai CARES Act Project Lead Larry Persily said Monday that as of Dec. 24, 72 Kenai residents who applied for housing relief had not responded when a caseworker reached out to them. Caseworkers correspond with applicants to verify their information and to provide the documentation required for applicants to determine their eligibility for the program.

Also as of Dec. 24, $912,000 in assistance payments had been sent out or approved by the program, which is sponsored by the City of Kenai but is managed by the State of Alaska.

The program was originally set to expire on Dec. 30, the original deadline for federal CARES Act dollars to be spent. However, following the passage of a second COVID-relief bill by the federal government last week that deadline was extended to Dec. 31 of 2021.

Similar programs were also offered by the City of Soldotna and by the Kenai Peninsula Borough for borough residents living outside of the six incorporated cities.

People who applied for assistance, but have not received assistance or spoken with a caseworker should reach out via the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation at alaskahousingrelief.org/contact-us.

More information about the program can be found https://www.kenaihousingrelief.org/.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Correction: A previous version of this story directed applicants to reach out via a phone number provided by the City of Kenai. Applicants should email ahfc@cssalaska.org with their lottery number.

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