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Working together to support the housing needs of Alaskans

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has longstanding relationships with many lenders throughout Alaska. We work together to provide services and products for Alaskans looking to purchase or maintain a home. Across the state, our lending partners work diligently to ensure they are knowledgeable and up-to-date about Alaska Housing products so they can provide the best loan option and service possible for Alaskans.

AHFC would like to recognize this effort by spotlighting one of our top 12 loan producers each month in our newsletter, and one of our top 52 loan producers each week on our website to thank them for being a part of the Alaska Housing family and for helping to provide Alaskans with safe, quality, and affordable housing.

Congratulations to all those recognized and thank you for your partnership and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at jmiyagishima@ahfc.us.

Jan Miyagishima
Director, Mortgage Operations

You won't find Fred and Wilma at this house

In the Butte, off the Old Glenn Highway, a house is being constructed with dirt, leaves and other natural debris to create the unique Stabilized Insulated Rammed Earth (SIRE) home.

The genesis of the SIRE home was the Aleutian Living Building Challenge Design contest that drew architects and designers from around the world. Their goal was to design a highly energy efficient and sustainable residential structure that can meet the harsh climatic demands of the Aleutian Islands. Although the SIRE home did not win the contest, the design was chosen as the prototype to be built by the Aleutian Housing Authority (AHA). AHA contracted with By Windstorm of Earth Dwell LTD to build and construct the home.

The foundation and walls are eight inches earth, eight inches
foam and then eight inches more earth. The roof will be built more traditionally using trusses. If this project home was built by concrete, it would likely be finished by now. There are probably two more months of mixing, shoveling and ramming to go on this SIRE house.The whole process is very organic and labor intensive. To build the walls, for example, workers must first set forms to within an 1/8 of an inch tolerance. After the forms are set, a mixture of cement, earth and a little water are compacted inside the forms using large pneumatic ramming guns.

All electrical, plumbing, doors and windows have to be carefully measured and set in place as the earth is rammed around them. The interior will have no drywall or finishing only the character of the SIRE will be seen. Also, don’t worry about this home falling down anytime soon, testing of the SIRE has revealed strengths of more than 2,500 psi.

Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology hosted a tour of the Aleutian Housing Authority’s new Stabilized Insulated Rammed
Earth (SIRE) home in the Butte in mid-August. Nearly 50 participants,including AHFC staff, huddled together over the loud noise of construction to catch bits of insight into this unique building style. The project is supported by AHFC through its Supplemental Housing Development Grant program.

The project has a full time videographer on site during construction to document the process and develop an informational documentary of the SIRE home once it’s complete. If you want to follow the progress visit http://on.fb.me/1KSlrY6 or the builder’s web site at www.earthdwell.com.

Traditional recipes for non-traditional living

Have you ever wanted to try Akutaq (Eskimo icecream) or Perok (Fish pie)? Get your pots and pans out and get ready to cook!

Using her grandmother's Alaska Native recipes, Aleta Alstrom created a cookbook to provide nutritional and traditional recipes to assisted living homes so they could incorporate them into their meal plans for Alaska Natives living in the homes. Through the Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Native Tribal Council, the cookbook was offered online so anyone could experience Alaska Native cooking using the ingredients found around them.

Search Nellie's recipes here.

Member Appreciation Week at Chugach Electric

Throughout the week of October 5, members are invited to the Chugach lobby to participate in fun activities and to learn about daily themes, varying from energy efficiency to Chugach’s history. AHFC will be participating with an information booth for anyone with questions about energy programs.

Monday, October 5: Chugach Operations Tours
Want to know how electricity gets from Chugach Electric to your house? Interested in how distpatch teams stay on top of outage reports? Join staff on a tour to discover how it all works! Don't delay, sign up today by clicking here.

•Tuesday, October 6: Energy Efficiency and Renewables
Learn about renewables and energy efficiency programs that can help save energy and money. Jump on the energy bike to find out how much power it takes to turn on a light bulb.

•Wednesday, October 7: For your Convenience: Member Options
Learn about various billing and payment options and determine what option is best for you. A few topics that will be covered include paperless billing, paperless election materials and electronic voting, LevelPay billing and AutoPay by checking.

•Thursday, October 8: Electrical and Emergency Safety
Get tips on electrical safety in your home, work and neighborhood. Make sure you are ready for the next big earthquake by learning about emergency preparedness and power outage preparation.

•Friday, October 9: Chugach: Past, Present & Future
Chugach was formed to serve you! Take a walk through time and view historic displays of Chugach memorabilia. Chugach has been serving it's family, friends and neighbors for 67 years.

A drawing will be held for a chance to win a $250 Chugach gift certificate, that may be used to pay any Chugach account.

During the week of October 5, members can enter a drawing in the Chugach lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the week or online. The winner will be announced the week of October 12.

Is your home putting you at risk?

Respiratory illness is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Alaska Native children, especially for those living in rural Alaska. Most people don’t think about their home as a risk to their health but home ventilation systems can play a big role in the respiratory health of you and your family. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) has a vision that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world. ANTHC recognizes that health does not just happen at a hospital or clinic, but begins and thrives in healthy homes and communities. This is the reason that the organization’s comprehensive health services include consultation and construction on solutions to improve home air quality.

Through funding from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and US Housing and Urban Development (HUD), ANTHC sought to improve indoor air quality in the homes of 60 very high risk Alaska Native children suffering from chronic respiratory conditions.

During the past four winters, ANTHC worked with regional tribal health organizations and local tribes to determine the communities that have a combination of children with frequent and/or severe respiratory illness and housing with potential for poor indoor air quality. ANTHC then partnered with the regional housing authorities to make low-cost improvements in homes with the goal of improving the indoor air quality through reducing the production of indoor air pollution. Read the full story here.

AJ Salkoski – ANTHC, Project Manager
Christy McDonald – ANTHC EHS AmeriCorps VISTA