The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

The sign outside Soldotna City Hall is seen here on July 16, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna approves more pandemic relief

Programs will provide direct relief for city residents who have experienced economic hardships

At their Wednesday meeting, the Soldotna City Council approved two grant programs that will provide direct relief for city residents who have experienced economic hardships from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first program will provide housing grants to qualifying residents, and acts as an extension of the one-time relief provided by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation earlier this year. Using $400,000 of the $7.3 million in CARES Act funding allocated to the city, Soldotna will provide up to $1,200 in rent or mortgage relief for qualifying recipients every month from September to December of this year.

The qualification criteria will be the same as it was for AHFC’s one-time relief program. Applicants will be eligible for the relief if their post-pandemic household income is 80% or less than the median income for the geographic area. In the case of Kenai Peninsula Borough residents, the maximum allowable household income is $71,760.

The second program will provide relief for sewer and water payments made to the city for the remainder of the year. This program allocates $425,000 in CARES Act funds to cover the full amount of monthly residential water and sewer utility fees for eligible recipients from September through December of this year, totaling $32.48 for water service and $69.22 for sewer service each month. The program is offered to residential customers only, and if all Soldotna residents take advantage of the program, the cost is estimated at $425,000.

The details of these grants, including how to apply, have not yet been announced.

Visit soldotna.org for more information on these and other grant programs offered by the city.

To learn more about AHFC’s housing relief program, visit alaskahousingrelief.org.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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