Nearly one in three households in Alaska is cost-burdened, according to a new statewide housing assessment.
Roughly 31 percent of the state’s households, or more than 75,000 households, are paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Housing officials believe this number is probably higher when factoring in energy-cost estimates.
“Housing in Alaska is unique,” said Bryan Butcher, CEO and executive director of the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. (AHFC), in a statement. “Alaskans in rural communities face aging infrastructure, high energy costs, and transportation and accessibility concerns for new and existing buildings. Urban communities may benefit from economies of scale but still suffer from high costs, overcrowding, and energy inefficient housing.”
The state’s affordable housing needs are significant.
“Of Alaska’s approximately 252,920 occupied housing units, an estimated 15,453 housing units are considered overcrowded or severely overcrowded,” says AHFC’s 2014 Alaska Housing Assessment, which was authored by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Of the state’s cost-burdened households, approximately 3,580 are estimated to be both overcrowded and cost-burdened, according to the report.
This year, the report also includes data from professional energy audits conducted on approximately 30 percent of occupied housing in the state. The study estimates that nearly 20,000 homes have the lowest possible energy rating.
The 2014 Alaska Housing Assessment can be found on the AHFC website.