Cash or Rental Assistance Options during COVID-19

Authored By: Alaska Legal Services

Cash or Rental Assistance Options During COVID-19

Many Alaskans are facing financial difficulties in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some government services that provide cash or rental assistance based on income. If you have been laid off, either get a letter from your past employer stating your last working date, or have your past employer’s phone number ready.


  • Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP)
    • What it does: ATAP provides families with cash assistance for a limited time, based on need.
    • Whether you qualify: Your family must have less than $2,000 in countable resources, or less than $3,000 if a member of your family is over 60. Resources that do not count include the home, household and personal goods, and most vehicles.
    • How to apply: You can apply online through, or call (907) 222-3119.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • What it does: SNAP provides monthly payments for low income Alaskans to purchase food.
    • Whether you qualify: You must be a resident of Alaska, a U.S. citizen (though there are exceptions), have assets less than $2,500 for most households, and $3,500 for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years or older.
      • Normally, there is a work requirement for able-bodied applicants between the ages of 16 and 59, but that requirement has been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • How to apply: You can apply online through, or fill out the paper application attached.
      • For assistance filling out your application, call (907) 222-3119 or text SNAP to (907) 891-8913 and follow the prompts.
  • Housing Vouchers from Alaska Housing and Finance Corporation
    • What it does: AHFC provides vouchers for low income Alaskans which help pay a portion of your rent
    • Whether you qualify: Your annual income must not exceed $32,250 for a 1-person family, $36,900 for a 2-person family, $41,500 for a 3-person family, and $46,100 for a 4-person family, and $49,800 for a 5-person family. These may vary depending on your county.
      • Warning: the waiting list may be long! See the other options here for more immediate assistance.
    • How to apply: Apply online at, where you must find AHFC’s open waiting lists. If you do not have online access, and you are in Anchorage, you can pick up a paper application at AHFC’s office: 4300 Boniface Parkway, Anchorage AK 99504.
  • General Relief Assistance
    • What it does: This is a last resort, one-time payment of at most $120 to any household in an emergency situation.
    • Whether you qualify: The household must have an emergency need for shelter, utilities, food, clothing, or burial. The household must have no more than $500 in resources, such as cash or other property. This does not include your house, property necessary for employment, or your vehicle. The household also cannot receive more than $300 in net income per month if the household is made up of 1 person, although that number is higher for households with more than 1 person.
    • How to apply: You can apply online through, or call (907) 222-3119.
  • Heating Assistance Program (HAP)
    • What it does: HAP provides a one-time payment towards a household’s heating bill.
    • Whether you qualify: Your household’s monthly income must not exceed $1,950 for 1-person households, $2,641 for 2-person households, $3,332 for 3-person households, and $4,023 for 4-person households. See the applications for limits for larger households. Your monthly heating bill must be $200 minimum.
    • How to apply: The application deadline is April 30, 2020. You can apply online at, or call 1-800-470-3058.
  • Adult Public Assistance (APA)
    • What it does: APA provides cash assistance to the aged, blind, or disabled.
    • Whether you qualify: If under 65, you must be blind or disabled. Your resources must not exceed $2,000 for an individual, and $3,000 for a couple. There is also an income limit, which varies based on individual needs. You must also be seeking all other benefits available to you, including SSI, unemployment, worker’s compensation, and disability.
    • How to apply: You can apply online through, or call (907) 222-3119.
  • Senior Benefits
    • What it does: Senior Benefits provides cash assistance to Alaskans age 65 and older with low to moderate income.
    • Whether you qualify: You must be at least 65 years of age, an Alaska resident and U.S. citizen, have a social security number or proof one has been applied for. Possible payments are $250, $175, or $75 per month. The amount of your cash assistance varies based on your income and whether you are married. For example, if you are single and make under $11,963, you are eligible for $250 per month.
    • How to apply: You can apply online through, or call (907) 222-3119.
Last Review and Update: Apr 16, 2020