I read the recent opinion piece by Kevin Cross, Randy Sulte, and Daniel Volland regarding Anchorage’s housing issues and the proposed AO 2023-103. I highly respect these members and the efforts they make and while the authors make a compelling case for the importance of small multifamily developments, I believe it’s crucial to address the underlying causes of the housing crisis in our city.
It is evident that the shortage of affordable housing is a multifaceted problem. The proposal to revise zoning regulations and encourage “gentle density” through small multifamily units is a step in the right direction. However, it’s equally essential to acknowledge the role of short-term rental owners and the burden they have placed on the rental market.
As the authors rightly pointed out, the Anchorage community should come together to address this issue. Still, I’d like to emphasize that we need to hold shortterm rental owners accountable for their investments, rather than expecting renters to pick up the losses. We cannot solely rely on small multifamily developments to solve the housing crisis without addressing the root causes. Anchorage must incentivize building apartments, because the cost to build is too high for some people to ever purchase a home in this economy.
Furthermore, the authors suggested that increasing density in the right areas will help alleviate the housing shortage, but it’s equally important to consider the economic aspects. Anchorage must work on increasing wages and improving job opportunities to retain its workforce. If people cannot afford to live in our city, they will continue to leave, exacerbating the problem. In summary, while AO 2023-103 is a positive step, we need a comprehensive approach to tackle Anchorage’s housing crisis.
It’s time to hold short-term rental owners accountable and ensure that the burden is not disproportionately shifted onto renters.
Additionally, efforts to increase wages and create more job opportunities are essential to keep our workforce from trickling out of the city.
— Brooke Lavender
Have something on your mind? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.