Affordable Housing makes progress

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Juneau Affordable Housing Commission got a financial boost when voters this week approved the extension of a local sales tax for five years.

    The Commission is expected to receive $2 million from the additional revenue.  A new report suggested Juneau had a good housing market this summer.  They had 98 listings for homes in September and 196 apartments available in October.

    The Commission also welcomed Keith Gregory, the new CEO of the Klingit Haida Housing Authority to town.  He spoke about the groups mission to provide new housing in Juneau and surrounding areas.

    Gregory said he was also very pleased with the Housing First Project which opened in September to help the area's homeless.  "It has been nothing but a success.  We have been excited to be a part of it and to help so many people who are in need." The Commission also announced that Bartlett Regional Hospital made a recent financial donation to the project.

    Gregory said the group is currently looking at development of 25 acres in Douglas.  They own 40 acres there.  'We are pursuing the first 25 acres..  We are not necessarily looking at affordable housing.  We would love to provide housing for the market place.  We want to utilize the assets we have to help the community.  Douglas is an amazing community.  We can partner with developers and get some real quality work done."

    Mr. Gregory has worked for several housing authorities mostly in finance.  His experience comes from Atlanta, Chicago and other areas.  He said those experiences learned can help here, "I bring creativity.  In every city, things are different.  Juneau is a little different than other areas.  I make myself open to new ideas, and bring new ideas to the table.  That gets things done."

    The commission also discussed a housing forum the city would like to hold in November to discuss the existing housing needs in the community.



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