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Assessment Details Characteristics of Housing Across Alaska

Jan 24, 2018 | Real Estate

Sam Friedman
Sam Friedman

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.

A Graying Workforce

Image courtesy of AHFC

Infographic highlighting key numbers from AHFC’s 2018 housing assessment.

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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.

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Locally, Junior Achievement of Alaska has been helping students better understand business and economics for forty-six years. Based in Anchorage with a staff of three, Junior Achievement of Alaska serves more than 14,500 students in fifty-five communities around the state. Many past Junior Achievement students have gone on to become successful professionals and continue to serve as classroom volunteers to help raise the next generation of business leaders.

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