Assembly Q&A: Should the city have any role in increasing the amount of lower-cost housing in Anchorage? If yes, what would you suggest the city do that it's not already doing?

April 1, 2013 

Q: Should the city have any role in increasing the amount of lower-cost housing in Anchorage? If yes, what would you suggest the city do that it's not already doing?

District 2: Seat A

Chugiak/Eagle River

Amy Demboski: Yes. The city needs to work proactively to ensure infrastructure is maintained and built to accommodate the expansion of options for housing. Much of the land within the city is already developed; so, we must look to make housing more affordable by other means, such as supporting rejuvenation projects and the Knik Arm Bridge. The bridge project would open the door to developable land and ultimately would expand housing options for many residents.

Peter Mulcahy: Yes. The primary thing the Municipality can do is to remove the barriers to development. We have been developing community plans that are unrealistic. They are not based on the climatic, fiscal, or demographic facts our communities face.

Bob Lupo: No Answer

District 3: Seat D

West Anchorage

Ernie Hall: Yes. We need to work to facilitate good working relationships between for profit and non-profit developers in order to ensure we are able to meet the housing needs of our whole community.

Nick Moe: The city could use its bonding authority to help a public-private partnership to encourage private developers to increase the low cost housing stock because affordable housing is in the public interest.

District 3: Seat E

West Anchorage

Cheryl Frasca: Yes. 1) Keep property taxes down by not increasing spending; 2) Don't use land-use policies to increase construction costs by decreasing the amount of land available; and 3) don't add to construction costs by lengthy permitting process.

Phil Isley: No. Using public funds in the private sector generally benefits a few people by making the rest of us pay.

Tim Steele: The city needs to ensure that provisions are made for appropriate planning standards, so that any development of low-cost housing is consistent. Additionally, low-cost housing development will require the facilitation of supplementary commercial infrastructure and transportation.

District 4: Seat F

Midtown Anchorage

Andy Clary: Yes, by decreasing the regulatory burden on developing housing.

Dick Traini: Yes. We have encouraged private industry like Cook Inlet and Habitat for Humanity to provide this kind of housing. But the city should look in to it. We used to have much more entry-level housing, like trailer courts, than we do now.

District 5: Seat H

East Anchorage

Paul Honeman: Yes: The city should always seek federal and state funding, and leverage municipal dollars with the established developers and non-profits towards lower cost and affordable housing options. We could also look at incentivized tax credits or municipal infrastructure credits for affordable housing.

District 6: Seat J

South Anchorage

Jennifer Johnston: Yes, we need to keep addressing creative alternatives in the Title 21 code.

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