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Grooving out at the Home Show

Staff brought the '70s back at the Alaska Housing booth during the 2015 home shows in Anchorage, Juneau, Kenai and Fairbanks. Over 1,000 participants took a short energy quiz to determine how much they knew about home energy efficiency. Once submitted, AHFC donated one dollar for each participant to Habitat for Humanity.

Be on the lookout for some hip staff at the Mat-Su Home Show April 10-12, and stop by to test your energy knowledge and learn more about Renovation Loan options.

AHFC partners with ENERGY STAR

AHFC has partnered with Department of Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program to add value to the Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs. The goal of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is to help homeowners improve the efficiency and comfort of their homes using a comprehensive, whole house approach.

Since the goal is nearly identical to the goals of the Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs, there seemed to be a natural fit. AHFC receives no funding with the partnership but will benefit with shared knowledge program improvements and customer home efficiency. ENERGY STAR brings credibility to our program, state and energy ratings.

Every participant in the Home Energy Rebate program will receive a Home Energy Rating Certificate, as of April 1, that includes the ENERGY STAR logo. Research shows 87 percent of
households recognize the ENERGY STAR label when shown the label, and 64 percent associate the label with energy savings. AHFC will also use the logo to promote the Home Energy Rebate program on its website, in brochures and in other marketing material.

Who do you call for condo approvals? Roger Helmer!

Among the many different services that AHFC offers to Alaskans, project approval may not be the most glamorous. The finance industry relies on AHFC’s condo approval list when making decisions that impact customers. For instance, in order for a customer to use AHFC financing when purchasing a condominium, the project must be on AHFC’s approved list. The condo association must also re-certify with AHFC every three years.

This important function has moved from a long-time employee, recently retired, to Roger Helmer in the mortgage department. Roger accepted the “other duties as assigned” task and is off to a great start in keeping AHFC’s condo list up to date and being responsive to customer inquiries. Roger says his motto is to “provide a reasonable process with consistent application of the rules and procedures,” for homeowner associations and management companies that are seeking AHFC’s approval or re-approval.

Part of Roger’s influence is already being felt with development of a standardized format to help applicants understand and present their capital reserve documentation. “As a form of entry-level homeownership, condos offer an affordable opportunity only when they are properly managed,” says Helmer. “By standardizing the reserve reporting, there is a reduced chance that a first-time homebuyer will be assessed a higher dues amount than what they used to qualify for the mortgage loan because there is a reduced chance that their association is underfunded for maintenance of common areas.” By looking at the guidelines with a fresh set of eyes, Roger isn’t afraid to ask, “Why do we do it that way?” and to offer a solution that works more efficiently for the public when they interact with AHFC. “While I realize that just because you are right doesn’t mean you will always win,” says Helmer with a smile, “I do enjoy working with the condo approval process and streamlining the guidelines to make it easier for the industry to use AHFC’s programs.”

For questions about AHFC’s condo approval process, please contact Roger at 330-8429 or rhelmer@ahfc.us

Not ready to buy? Find housing with AHFC's Housing Locator

AHFC's Housing Locator allows you to search for housing using various selection options. Do you have a dog? Would you prefer a house over an apartment? Would you like your children to stay within a certain school district?

Are you a landlord looking for renters? This is also a great tool for you! List your rentals on the Housing Locator, too.

Attend an AHFC Board meeting

Stay in the loop with the inner-workings of AHFC by attending a board meeting. Discussions include topics about mortgage loans, bonds, updates and other pertinent information. You can also sign up to address the board with questions or comments. To receive email about the board meetings or public notices, sign up HERE.

The next AHFC board meeting is scheduled for April 29, 2015. For a schedule of meetings, or to learn how you can call in, click HERE.