SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Governor Announces Statewide Housing Summit


October 18, 2015
Sunday PM

(SitNews) - Governor Bill Walker announced last week his plans to host a statewide housing summit on January 6, 2016, to address the state’s pressing housing needs. The announcement was made at a joint meeting of the Alaska Coalition to End Homelessness and the Governor’s Council on Homelessness at the Marriott Hotel in Anchorage.

“The goal of this summit is to identify what the state can do to help local communities address their housing needs,” Governor Walker explained. “Affordable housing is a top priority of my administration, and I am committed to work with local officials to find a proactive and collaborative solution to this problem.”

Modeled off the Governor’s Sustainable Future event in Fairbanks, the January 6 housing summit will provide an open dialogue for state officials, financers, realtors, builders, rural housing authorities, municipal leaders, and advocacy groups to develop impactful goals and measurable outcomes related to Alaska’s housing shortage. In addition to the Governor’s office, the event is being convened by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Alaska Coalition to End Homelessness, Rasmuson Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Cold Climate Housing Research Center and others.

“Despite the fiscal challenges our state faces, addressing homelessness and affordable housing are not insurmountable,” Governor Walker said. “We should not give up hope or the commitment to help our most vulnerable Alaskans. Shelter is a basic necessity and Alaskans have a proud history of being there when help is needed.”

One of the biggest challenges is collecting data about homeless individuals: how many people are homeless, who they are, what services they need most, and how long they have been homeless. In 2013-2014, it was estimated that a total of 1,785 people in Alaska were homeless. Of that number, 1,640 were sheltered.(Alaska Justice Forum, Spring-Summer 2014, Vol. 31. No.1-2)

More information on the Governor’s housing summit will be available in the coming weeks.


On the Web:

Definitions of Homelessness

Factors contributing to Homelessness - Homeless Resource Network


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Gov. Bill Walker


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