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 launches new grant programs

The three new grant programs are available through the CARES Act.

After distributing over $1.8 million in relief to local small businesses and nonprofits last month, the city of Soldotna has launched three new grant programs through the CARES Act, one targeting small businesses and two that are meant to directly assist residents of the community with house and utility payments.

Housing relief

Residents of Soldotna who have suffered economic hardship or a loss of income due to COVID-19 can now apply for up to $1,200 per month in rent or mortgage relief through the rest of the year.

The assistance is an extension of the one-time relief paid out by the Alaska Housing and Finance Corporation in June, and is available for any Soldotna resident whose post-COVID household income is at or below $71,760, which is 80% of the median household income for the area.

Residents who already applied for and received the original AHFC Housing Relief Program will be contacted automatically to verify their eligibility for the new assistance. Any residents who did not apply for or receive assistance from AHFC in June can complete in application now at www.SoldotnaHousingRelief.org.

Water and sewer relief

Soldotna residents who are struggling financially due to the ongoing pandemic can also apply for a grant that will waive their city water and sewer fees for the months of September through December of 2020. Applications are available now and will be accepted through Dec. 4, but residents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Those who are eligible will receive an automatic credit to their water and sewer accounts covering the costs for each of the months requested.

Virtual Storefront Improvement

The city has expanded its already existing Storefront Improvement Grant Program to assist Soldotna business owners expand or establish their online presence. The grant will provide up to $2,500 to eligible applicants that is meant for website development or improving the functionality of an already existing website. Applications are available now until Oct. 30, and all projects associated with the grant must be completed by Dec. 30, 2020.

For more information about any of these programs, visit www.soldotna.org/CARES or call Soldotna City Hall at 907-262-9107.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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