Collaboration Leads to more Teacher, Health Professional and Public Safety Housing in Five Alaskan Communities

Twenty eight rental units will be constructed or rehabilitated for targeted professions that include teachers, nurses or other medical personnel, and public safety officers to fill a void in the housing stock in five Alaska communities. The 2020 grants totaling $2.17 million, coupled with $500,000 from the Denali Commission are expected to provide an economic impact to the state of more than $10.3 million.

 “As superintendent of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District we struggled to attract teachers to Kotzebue and some of our villages. When I approached Alaska Housing in the early 2000s, we could only imagine the impact the program would have in our communities. Almost 500 units will be completed and thousands of children will have had the opportunity to graduate, and our communities are both safer and healthier because of the impact these professionals are making,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy.

Housing is the most basic need in communities across the state. In rural Alaska, overcrowding due to insufficient or a void of housing detrimentally impacts families. Those families are further challenged when communities struggle to recruit and retain key professionals like teachers, public safety officers and nurses. Who knows how many teachers have stayed and contributed to better student outcomes because those teachers built their life in the community (where they were hired as a result of this program)?” said Bryan Butcher, Alaska Housing CEO/executive director.

Projects were selected by a competitive scoring process that rewards community collaboration, economic efficiency, and inclusion of affordable energy sources. Grants for 2020 will go to the communities of Kivalina, Nome, Brevig Mission, Shaktoolik and Nulato.

  • Kivalina Teacher Housing Duplex will create two new affordable rentals for Kivalina teachers and will feature solar energy. The housing is sponsored by Northwest Arctic Borough School District.  
  • Nome Teacher/VPSO Housing Apartment will construct 18 new affordable units for Nome teachers and public safety professionals. The development is sponsored by Nome Public Schools.
  • Brevig Mission Teacher Housing Triplex will develop three new affordable rentals for teacher housing. Shaktoolik Teacher Housing Triplex will be a newly constructed, three unit property for teacher housing. Both Brevig Mission and Shaktoolik are sponsored by Bering Strait School District.
  • Nulato Teacher Housing Duplex will build two new units for teacher housing. The development is sponsored by Yukon Koyukuk School District.

Since the program’s inception, funding from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s Teacher, Health Professional and Public Safety program has participated in 498 units with more than $96 million in grants totaling over $147 million in statewide economic impact.

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is a public corporation with a long history of providing Alaskans access to safe, quality and affordable housing through home financing programs, energy efficiency programs, public housing and more. Since 1986, Alaska Housing has contributed more than $2.1 billion to the State of Alaska’s General Fund.



Soren Johansson