Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment (CHANGE) Program

Need housing assistance? NeighborWorks Alaska offers grant-funded housing vouchers.
The CHANGE Program is an option for those who need an immediate short-term Emergency Shelter with an additional 12 months of rental assistance in a leased unit.

Program
NeighborWorks Alaska is a grantee of an Alaska Housing Finance Corporation Housing Stabilization and Recovery grant that provides immediate short-term Emergency Shelter assistance and rental assistance up to 12 months for homeless individuals/families.

Eligibility
Applicants must meet Alaska Housing Finance Corporation homelessness and low-income requirements.

How it Works
Individuals and families seeking immediate emergency shelter should have their referring agency make a referral over to NeighborWorks Alaska (NWAK). Intake application meetings will then be completed at NWAK by the client. If approved, clients will then be notified of the immediate approval and eligibility to participate in NeighborWorks Alaska’s CHANGE Program. Clients will work with their assigned Housing Support Specialist (HSS) and Housing Placement Specialist I/II (HPS) to locate an immediate Emergency Shelter housing placement. Once an Emergency Shelter unit is located and approved by the HPS II a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection is scheduled then completed. If the unit passes the HQS inspection the client is then able to move in immediately. The program then pays a subsidy to help with Emergency Shelter rent while the client works to locate Permanent Housing. Payments for the Emergency Shelter amount are paid directly to the landlord by NWAK. Clients will be meeting with the HPS at least 1 time a week for an intervention inspection of the unit. Clients will be meeting with their HSS weekly to work on permanent housing solutions to quickly transition from Emergency Shelter to Permanent Supportive housing with 12 months of subsidy. Clients choose where they would like to live within the community and lease from a private landlord that will accept the voucher. Clients with income will pay no more than 30% of their adjusted gross income toward housing costs. They are given an initial 30 days to locate and schedule an HQS inspection. They are allowed up to two 30-day extensions during this process. Once a unit is located and approved by the HPS II an HQS inspection is scheduled then completed. If the unit passes the HQS inspection the client is, then able to enter into a lease agreement. The program then pays an ongoing monthly subsidy to help with rent and deposits. Payments for the rental amount are paid directly to the landlord by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The tenant is solely responsible for the remaining amount of rent due to the landlord.  The focus of this program is to keep individuals/families out of congregate shelters and off the streets while securing Permanent Supportive Housing.

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