Thursday, June 25th, 2020´╗┐
In this issue:
  • Rent and Mortgage Relief Applications due by Friday at midnight
  • Changes to the AK CARES Grant Program
  • Additional Aid for Child Care Providers
  • How to Vote by Mail in the Upcoming Election
  • COVID-19 Testing Sites in Anchorage
  • 24/7 Helpline for those Caring for Individuals with Alzheimers or Dementia
AHFC Rent and Mortgage Assistance Applications due Friday at Midnight
Applications are due by Friday, June 26th at midnight for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's mortgage and rent relief lottery. If you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for up for $1,200 in relief.
This program is funded from the $10 million appropriated by the CARES Act, and will be distributed by lottery, not on a first come first serve basis. So if you need help paying your rent or mortgage, make sure and apply for this program before June 26th.
Additionally, the Municipality of Anchorage is now taking applications for their rent and mortgage assistance program.
If you or your household has suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for up to $1,000 a month, per household, for two months, for a total of $2,000 in rent or mortgage relief.
Applying is easy, just call 2-1-1 and answer a series of questions.
Changes to the AK CARES Grant Program
Last Wednesday, the Dunleavy administration announced substantial changes to the AK CARES grant program for small businesses and non-profits in Alaska. They expanded eligibility to include:
  • Small businesses and non-profits who have received less than $5,000 in other federal relief programs, such as EIDL and SBA loans and the PPP program
  • Applicants who received municipal assistance
  • 501(c)(6)'s, or local economic development organizations
This is great news for small non-profit and business owners in Alaska, but there are questions as to whether or not the administration has the legal authority to make these changes. The original RPL, or Revised Program Legislative request, as written by the administration explicitly prevents applicants who have received other aid from being eligible for this program.
The initial lawsuit which was filed against the administration in response to all of the governor's RPLs was recently amended to include these changes to the AK CARES grant program. This lawsuit has the potential to hold up funding for these grants. Small non-profit and business owners in Alaska cannot afford to wait any longer for financial aid.
The legislature must act to resolve this and ensure that these funds are not held up in court.
In the meantime, small businesses and nonprofits should continue to apply for AK CARES grants to ensure they can get funds as quickly as possible and also so the state can know what the need is for this program.
To apply for funding visit Credit Union 1's website.
Additional Aid for Child Care Providers
Child care facilities provide an essential service that is integral to getting Alaskans back to work and our economy up and running. However, they are in desperate need of additional financial relief, as they typically operate with thinner margins than many businesses. We heard in testimony last Wednesday that every one additional teacher in a child care facility helps eight parents get back to work.
Child care providers estimated that they needed an additional $20 million in aid to be able to continue serving our communities. The Department of Health and Social Services initially promised that this money would be given to providers from the CARES Act funding, only to later learn that this was not the case.
Late Thursday, DHSS announced that child care providers would received an additional $10.5 million in aid, meeting only about half of the need. Five providers have already gone out of business that we know of. While I am happy to see them receive more aid, its not enough. I am disappointed in this inadequate policy call, after repeatedly expressing to the administration the importance of this aid.
I will continue to advocate for additional support for child care providers in Alaska as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Vote by Mail
Voting by mail in Alaska is safe, easy, and convenient. Not to mention it is the most effective way to make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you, without risking the spread of COVID-19. Here's how to vote by mail in three simple steps:
Click on the image above for more information on how to vote by mail in the upcoming election.
Where to get Tested for COVID-19
Need to get tested for COVID? The Municipality of Anchorage has a map of testing sites around the city.
If you need to be quarantined or prefer to keep your distance, free, drive through testing will continue to be available at 4115 Lake Otis Parkway, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. You no longer need a referral from a clinician first to use this service.
Free, drive through testing will continue to be available off Lake Otis and E 42nd.
Helpline for Caring for Loved Ones with Alzheimers or other Dementia
Hunkering down is hard enough, but if you are doing so with a loved one with Alzheimer's or other dementia, it can be incredibly challenging. The Alzheimer's Association has a 24/7 toll free helpline that provides confidential, free support to Alaskans from licensed specialists and Master-level clinicians.
Call 1-800-272-3900 for assistance with safety-proofing your home, information on gun safety in households with dementia, crisis support in times of unpredictable behavior and personality changes, and any other issue you may be facing.
These are tough times. COVID-19 is putting unprecedented stress on Alaskans--both in terms of our health and because of the economic impacts of the public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, Alaskans always help Alaskans. Now we need to do that more than ever. Please let me know if there is anything my team or I can do to help you. We have been helping Alaskans get information about unemployment, small business relief and more. We are working remotely but checking our voicemails and emails regularly.
We are here to help.
Be well,
Phone Number: (907) 269-0123
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