Housing Alaskans was formed in 2022 and operates as a housing trust. Initial funding came from the State of Alaska and a small grant from Rasmuson Foundation. Alaska is now the 48th state to have a housing trust.
Housing Alaskans will produce, preserve, and protect housing. Its mission is to address Alaska’s housing crisis by using creative funding solutions to bridge the gap to bring housing projects online, incentivizing housing developers and providers with operational and capital funding to help projects cross the finish line.
State housing trusts are the backbone of comprehensive housing development. They demonstrate what is possible, encourage local participation and the creation of local housing trusts, and build momentum to begin having a measurable impact on addressing critical housing needs. In 2022, Alaska became the 48th state to create a housing trust.
Alaska is experiencing a housing crisis with three major problems:
These challenges are interconnected and impact rural Alaska more significantly than urban areas.
Alaska needs to build and preserve roughly 27,500 housing units in the near term (next 10 years). The status quo will not meet the need: Housing Alaskans is a critical part of how we will build new housing and preserve and modernize our existing housing stock at the scale needed.
Learn more about Alaska's housing challenges.
The status quo isn’t working. The market isn’t building enough new housing for working families. From Ketchikan to Anchorage to Utqiagvik, new development will take new resources.
Flexible funds are the difference between whether enough new housing will get built. Housing Alaskans is not about replacing resources, but coming alongside existing programs to get housing built.
No other funding source is preserving our housing stock for the future at the scale necessary. While we build new, we must also modernize what we have. Housing Alaskans will fund critical rehab and renovation.
Public investment can put private dollars to work. No other source is leveraging public and private dollars for statewide housing impact.
In every community in Alaska there is a lack of housing. Available housing is usually overpriced and inaccessible for many Alaskans. Rates of overcrowding in Alaska are more than double the national average, with some regions reporting overcrowding in one out of every two homes. Rural communities are disproportionately affected by overcrowding.
The U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey which tracks impacts of COVID-19 across the country estimates that 32.5% of Alaskan adults live in households that are not current on rents or mortgages where eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is likely. 15,146 Alaskans accessed homeless services between January and November of 2021.
Housing Alaskans was formed in 2022 and operates as a housing trust. Initial funding came from the State of Alaska and a small grant from Rasmuson Foundation.
Housing trusts complement existing housing entities by:
Housing Alaskans' funds are responsibly invested, managed, and granted by the Alaska Community Foundation.
Yes, Housing Alaskans is different from other housing funding entities. The organization is not about replacing resources, but coming alongside existing programs to get housing built. It will top off existing efforts to make projects pencil and get them across the finish line.
Housing Alaskans is complementary to, and will not compete with, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) or other housing enterprises. Instead, Housing Alaskans will leverage AHFC assets (e.g., housing vouchers) to increase the impact of housing programs.
Housing Alaskans seeks to collaborate with other funding sources to leverage and combine various funding streams to make it easier for housing projects to develop an adequate capital stack more quickly and efficiently.
When it comes to housing development, Alaska is in gridlock. Housing Alaksans will jumpstart development, provide incentives to the construction industries, and improve community safety.
The public-private partnership will direct resources toward the creation of housing units through the following activities:
• Fund capital costs of rental and ownership housing;
• Provide financial assistance for nonprofit-developer capacity building;
• Fund supportive services for occupants of housing;
• Fund operating expenses of housing developments; and
• Offer capacity building grants for rural organizations interested in developing housing.
An additional objective is to supplement Housing Alaskans investments with other fund sources to maximize the number of quality housing units that are created or preserved each round.
Housing Alaskans' funds are invested, managed, and granted by the Alaska Community Foundation through an independent Board of Directors that represents the geographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity of all Alaskans, including representation from Alaska’s various regions, sectors affected by the housing crisis, and those who have expertise in Alaska’s housing needs.
The Board of Directors determines the funding available each year and the qualifying projects that meet the goals of identified community housing needs. The board will also:
Housing Alaskans also has an Advisory Committee that consists of subject matter experts from throughout the state to assist the board in establishing the ongoing structure and governance of the organization. The committee includes representatives from Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, a rural housing authority, a community provider, a developer who has done rural and urban projects, an employer who has to purchase housing for a workforce, and board members from Alaska's two Continuums of Care (CoC). The committee's responsibilities include assisting grant-making decisions, providing technical assistance and outreach to grant applicants, and reviewing and ranking grant applications.