Live. Work. Play. Areas of Focus: Housing
Good housing is the foundation on which Anchorage can build a stronger economic future. Housing plays an important role in the economic health and success of our city, and in the AEDC vision.
Lack of affordable, available and livable housing has been cited by many local businesses as a challenge to attracting and retaining employees in Anchorage. The Housing Area of Focus is working to address this issue through several avenues.
In 2014, Housing conducted employer and employee surveys to gauge concerns and demand regarding housing in Anchorage. The initial results can be viewed here. These results were presented an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday Forum; you can view the presentation slides here.
According to an employer survey conducted by the housing focus area, workers moving to Anchorage are shocked by two things: how dark it gets in the winter and the high cost of housing for what they get in return.
Carol Gore and Tim Potter, focus area cochairs, are committed to making the Anchorage housing market less bleak than its winters.
Nearly 150 local businesses, from financial services to oil and gas to health care, participated in the survey about local housing issues. Results revealed that 15 percent of recruits declined jobs because of housing – primarily due to cost – while 44 percent of current employees were dissatisfied with their housing options.
“Housing matters to local business,” Gore said, and the challenges are evident.
Developers need capital funding for infrastructure and more coordination between funders; outcomes require lengthy processes to change policy and regulation; local regulations limit our options for growth.
For example, Gore said, multifamily regulations in Title 21 are now being applied to actual designs.
“While there are some good changes, many developers, planners and architects are identifying costly, unintended consequences that make building multifamily units financially infeasible,” Gore said. “Some of the regulations limit design ideas that could bring the same outcome with a different and less costly design. Some regulations make energy efficiency construction more difficult, and some result in building fewer units of housing when we need every unit possible to meet demand.
Potter added that Anchorage is not replacing housing units as fast as they deteriorate. That, in turn, drives up prices. Potter argues that there is no financial incentive to tear down or upgrade, since housing is in demand, cash flow is high, and there are no viable replacements.
“What we build today is what Anchorage residents will live in 30 to 50 years from now,” Gore said.
With that in mind, the housing focus area is working to develop a vision for how we can build today in order to better serve Anchorage residents of the present and the future.-From the 2015 Live. Work. Play. Magazine
Latest news from Housing
Live. Work. Play. February events Workforce Development Area of Focus Meeting, Wednesday Feb. 8, 3:30-5 p.m. (AEDC Board Room) Creative Placemaking Area of Focus Meeting, Wednesday Feb. 15, 3-4:30 p.m. (Church of Love) Health/Wellness on Trails Subcommittee Meeting,...read more
The public is invited to an event on Monday, Jan. 23, to introduce a new unique mixed-use neighborhood development project on Alaska Railroad land in lower downtown Anchorage. A Kick-off presentation and Q&A is scheduled for noon at the Historic Depot (411 W....read more
Live. Work. Play. January events Education / Workforce Development Area of Focus: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 3:30 - 5 p.m., AEDC Boardroom Community Safety Area of Focus: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 3:30 - 5 p.m., AEDC Boardroom Housing Area of Focus: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 8:30 -10...read more