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Starting the year on solid footing

It was a tough year in many ways with the loss of Dan Fauske, former CEO/executive director of AHFC and a close friend. Under Dan's 18 years of leadership, AHFC built robust energy efficiency and rural housing development programs among countless other contributions to the corporation and State of Alaska.

Our FY17 annual report is available at reporttoalaskans.us and reflects on the successes of the past year. A few of the accomplishments include:

  • A dividend to the state of $29.4 million;
  • Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living program developed or upgraded 209 units of affordable housing;
  • The value of the mortgage portfolio increased to $2.9 billion, and includes 14,941 loans;
  • Basic Homeless Assistance program that provides funding for emergency shelters and outreach to vulnerable populations supports 13,000 Alaskans;
  • Self-sufficiency programs benefitting work-able families living in public housing continues to make meaningful progress in our communities.

Looking to 2018, I am happy to announce the formation of the Statewide Homeless Housing Office. Details are below and I look forward to hearing feedback about how the Office can best assist providers across the state to more efficently and effectively do their work.

Thank you for your partnership and support of Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director

Community resources in one-stop Housing office

The Statewide Homeless Housing Office provides one-stop access for homeless housing resources. Staff are available to answer questions about funding and training opportunities, resources available through grantee partners, and guidance on technical assistance.

Individuals in need of emergency shelter will still be encouraged to call 211 or visit 211.org to seek temporary accommodations.

The Statewide Homeless Housing Office:

  • Engages in community outreach to promote awareness of AHFC and its partners’ homeless and supportive housing initiatives and resources;
  • Coordinates with partners to facilitate interagency updates that improves program efficiency;
  • Records and disseminates homeless and supportive housing initiatives and affected outcomes to AHFC and the Alaska Council on the Homeless.

Learn more at ahfc.us

Study details housing challenges

Today’s challenges to housing in Alaska include affordability, older or inadequate construction, and inefficient use of energy. Tomorrow’s challenges include more aging Alaskans and a transient population that is affecting communities.

AHFC's 2018 Housing Assessment conducted by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center will be used to prioritize AHFC’s work based on its mission of promoting safe, quality and affordable housing.

Highlights include:

  • Of 251,678 occupied homes, more than 12,000 lack complete kitchens and/or plumbing.
  • As Alaskans age, demand for senior facility beds increases. Demand is expected to double in the next 12 years. To keep up, 318 beds must be added annually.
  • As Alaska’s population ages and in some cases, shifts, construction in some communities is insufficient to keep pace.
  • More than 5,000 homes in Alaska have benefited since 2014 from the investment the State of Alaska made in AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs – yet 14,600 homes are still identified as “inefficient” or rated with 1-star on AHFC’s 1—6 star scale.
  • Homes in Alaska are overcrowded at more than twice the national average, and more than half of households in some rural communities are overcrowded. Sixteen thousand homes would need to be built to alleviate overcrowding.

Analysis by regional and census areas is included in the comprehensive Housing Assessment and is available on AHFC’s website, ahfc.us.

Board Profile: Reflections from the Chair

Brent LeValley has brought continuity to AHFC's board of directors for nearly 10 years. He currently serves as chair. Brent recently shared a few words about his experience.

How did you become interested in housing and what led you to AHFC?
My first job out of college involved rural housing and agricultural loans. Housing, especially new construction, has been my passion ever since. I moved to Fairbanks in 1975. As I recall I started selling loans to AHFC in the late 70s and continued through 2015.

As a board member currently serving as chair, what do you think is, or was, AHFC’s most valuable contribution to the state?
AHFC has provided nearly $2 billion in dividends to the state of Alaska. The transfer plan allowed for growth and continuation of our mission, "to provide Alaskans access to safe, quality, affordable housing." Programs have expanded from affordable housing loans to public housing programs, energy efficiency, weatherization and senior housing.

What current projects or programs at AHFC do you think are going to have the biggest impact in the next year and/or the next 10 years?
Dividends have supported important community initiatives such as rural teacher housing and student dorms. The Home Energy Rebate and weatherization programs have provided some $600+ million to improve substantially the energy efficiency of Alaska’s housing stock.

State of Alaska funds supporting residential energy efficiency exceeds funds provided by the federal government to all states. This had a much larger impact than what I was expecting, and continues to provide Alaskan homeowners significantly reduced utility costs.

Also, our homebuyer education programs have positively impacted the home purchase process by lowering delinquency and foreclosure rates. AHFC continues to have one of the lowest mortgage delinquency rates in the nation and is reflected our excellent credit agency ratings.

As Fairbanks prepares for an influx of military personnel and the resulting housing crunch, where can AHFC do the most good?
As Fairbanks prepares for the impact of the Eielson Air Force Base expansion AHFC will continue to provide long-term secondary market financing for those prospective homeowners. Senior management has been proactive and attended many planning meetings held here in Fairbanks.

You also served on the board of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. What improvements to Alaskan homes have been the result of the partnership between AHFC and CCHRC?
My board position at Cold Climate Housing Research Center witnessed drafting and adoption of statewide energy standards that supported new home construction with energy rebates and weatherization programs. Given CCHRC‘s & AHFC’s commitment to energy efficiency in housing, I would expect the partnership to continue long into the future.

Resale certificates explained: Vital information for would-be buyers

AHFC mortgage programs are designed to meet the needs of borrowers for safe, quality and affordable housing. 
On ahfc.us, there are many resources for homebuyers considering purchasing a unit in a Common Interest Community. While condominiums are privately owned, they share ownership of common elements, such as walls, roofs, parking lots, mechanical items and potentially, much more. 
Associations collect monthly dues from individual homeowners to maintain various common elements paid for by funds in the reserve account. Dues also pay for day-to-day operations.

Under Alaska state law, buyers purchasing a condominium receive a Resale Certificate allowing them the opportunity to evaluate the financial stability and overall management of the association they will join.  Prospective buyers have five days to review the content of the Resale Certificate – and to ask questions of their real estate licensee or others who may be involved in the transaction.   
The following items offer a glimpse into what a Resale Certificate contains and why it is important to review it carefully: 

  • Amount of monthly dues;
  • Pending special assessments, unsatisfied judgments or pending litigation, if any;
  • Financial reports & meeting minutes; 
  • Pending capital expenditures in excess of $3,000 for the current and next two fiscal years;
  • Insurance coverage, including property, liability and fidelity bonds (crime);
  • A copy of “House Rules” providing insight as to what an owner can or cannot do in the association they are about to join after closing. 

AHFC reviews common interest communities and provides one to three-year acceptance periods based on the overall financial strength and well-being of the association. Once accepted, units within the association have access to AHFC’s mortgage programs. 

The statewide list of condominium associations currently accepted by AHFC are found here on the AHFC website. Resources for condominium associations wishing to renew/apply, or for real estate professionals and lenders, are available here

Story by: Jim McCall, mortgage department