Assessment Details Characteristics of Housing Across Alaska
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Today’s challenges to housing in Alaska include affordability, old or inadequate construction, inefficient use of energy.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Today’s challenges to housing in Alaska include affordability, old or inadequate construction, inefficient use of energy. Tomorrow’s challenges include more aging Alaskans and a transient population that is impacting communities – this according to a 2018 Housing Assessment completed for Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), the state’s housing financing agency. The Assessment captured available housing data and findings, and will be used to prioritize AHFC’s work based on its mission of promoting safe, quality and affordable housing.
Image courtesy of AHFC
Highlights from AHFC’s 2018 Housing Assessment:
- Of 251,678 occupied homes, more than 12,000 lack complete kitchens and/or plumbing.
- As Alaskans age, demand for senior facility beds increases. Demand is expected to double in the next 12 years. To keep up, 318 beds must be added annually.
- As Alaska’s population ages and in some cases, shifts, construction in some communities is insufficient to maintain pace.
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A Housing Assessment was last conducted for AHFC in 2014. Challenges identified then and updated:
- Homes in Alaska are overcrowded at more than twice the national average, and more than half of households in some rural communities are overcrowded. Sixteen thousand homes would need to be built to alleviate overcrowding.
- More than 5,000 homes in Alaska have benefited since 2014 from the investment the State of Alaska made in AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs – yet 14,600 homes are still identified as “inefficient” or rated with 1-star on AHFC’s 1—6 star scale.
Inefficient homes cost more due to greater consumption of home heating fuels, and structurally tight homes without proper ventilation may jeopardize indoor air quality or trap moisture that is structurally damaging. Medical professionals cite poor indoor air quality as a contributor to childhood asthma and other health conditions.
“I’d like to thank Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks for their work on the Assessment,” says Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director of AHFC. “Their evaluation supported the statewide perspective that we were seeking, and is increasingly important to securing non-traditional funds like those from the Rasmuson Foundation who recently supported construction of new senior housing.”
The 2018 Housing Assessment, including analysis by regional and census areas, is available on AHFC’s website.
In This Issue
The Art of Architecture
Architects often find themselves facing something of a chicken and egg dilemma. When it comes to design, what takes precedence—form or function?
“It’s a great question, and it’s probably a loaded question,” says David McVeigh, president of RIM Architects. “You can ask ten different architects and get ten different answers.”
Many of the factors that influence those answers land outside the architect’s control. The client’s vision for the building, its location and intended use, the project budget, and whether the design must conform to specific guidelines are all details the architect must consider when determining how much emphasis to place on aesthetics and how much on function.