Alaska Editorial: Public housing a hand up in time of need

The following editorial first appeared in the Ketchikan Daily News:

 

State officials should be commended for beginning to fix a broken — or at least damaged — public assistance housing system.

The turnover in public assistance housing has stagnated because the system discourages recipients from improving their income. If they make more money, they pay more for their apartments.

The new system will base public housing assistance on the market value of an apartment instead of a recipient’s income.

The system change is prompted by the number of able-bodied renters in subsidized apartments not transitioning out of assistance. It used to be the system had a three-year turnover rate, now it is eight years.

When transitioning does not take place, or the transition takes more than twice the time it did, that means a line of needy families develops and cannot be assisted. Alaska has thousands of families seeking housing assistance who cannot acquire it because of the sluggish system.

Alaska Housing will address the situation by increasing the percentage of the market value of apartments that renters pay over five years. By year five, renters will be required to pay 100 percent.

The elderly and the disabled will not be subject to the renewed effort to move renters into more lucrative opportunities in the workforce and out of public assistance.

But those who can work and choose not to will be encouraged to move along through the revised assistance system.

This revision will reemphasize that public assistance is not a way of life, but a hand up and out in a time of need.

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

 

More

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:41

This election, vote yes on Prop 1, no on Prop 2

Attention to the upcoming City and Borough of Juneau election has mostly been focused on Assembly and School Board races. Two ballot propositions will also... Read more

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:40

Health care repeal would hurt Alaska youth

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski took a brave stand when she voted against the health care bill earlier this summer that would harm Alaskans by slashing... Read more

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:39

Rushing toward disaster for a win?

The senior senator from South Carolina lost patience with the bipartisan work being done on health care, so he hurriedly sketched another repeal without replace... Read more

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:38

Assembly’s decision on mining resolution disappointing

I am deeply disappointed in the Sept. 18 decision by the Juneau Assembly to put off a resolution asking for federal involvement in our transboundary... Read more