Economic relief program popular with fishermen

Nov 11, 2020


Two new economic relief grant programs have just gotten underway, and others have already transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to successful applicants.
City of Homer spokesperson Jenny Carrol gave an update to the Homer City Council at its meeting last night.
“I'll begin with a little update on the fishermen's economic relief grant program, called FERG for ease. We began advertising this program about two weeks ago. There's been a great deal of interest in the project already. We've gotten numerous calls and as you know, constituents have been reaching out to you all, as far as the policy goes. Today we received 31 applications already,” Carrol said. “And, I've heard from Sarah that there have been several inquiries about the eligibility criteria, which I thought you all as policy makers might be interested in. There's been a few from fishing operations that store their vessel in Homer, but they don't moor in the Homer Harbor, which is one of our eligibility criteria.
“There have been a few requests from others who permanently reside in Homer, but they do not based their vessel here. Their vessel is based in other harbors, outside of Homer. So, in both of those situations, these fishing operations are not eligible. So, just to give you a little feedback from what we're hearing from the program, just on day one.
“Then the other program that launched today was the MARRG program mortgage and rent relief grant program. It went live today and we'll be accepting applications also through November 29. And I want to let people know that there are two ways to access this program for rent and mortgage relief,” Carrol said. “One, we're working on this program in partnership with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. AHFC ran a similar program using state CARES Act funds in June, this year. 88 households in Homer applied and received funding through that program. If you are one of those households, you do not need to reapply to the MARRG program. A contractor will be reaching out to you to verify your current information.”
The city’s Jody Mastey offered more information on the S-BERG applications received.
“The SBERG Two program closed on November 1. We had 265 applicants. Of those applicants (it) looks like 120 chose the standard option. And that standard option was just either a bump, if you're an SBERG One member to a $1,500, or if you were a new applicant and just wanted to go for the standard option of $4,500, and that was your option. So we had 17 new people choose option two, and then 103 SBERG Ones ask for the additional $1,500. We have awarded 229 applications totaling $3,615,782.”
Mastey added that there are currently 36 applications pending.
You can find more information on the city’s economic relief grant programs at City of Homer website.