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There is no more fitting time to say thank you to our partners providing access to safe, quality and affordable homes. Wishing you all a joyful Thanksgiving. 

Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director

Recognizing excellence in energy efficiency

Energy-efficient homes built for Alaska have extra insulation and high-efficiency heating systems. They save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year. Other benefits include consistent comfort and healthy indoor air. Altogether, the advantages of energy-efficient homes over traditional homes provide Alaskans with a more comfortable and affordable place to live.

AHFC's Builder of the Year award recognizes the builder who built the most energy-efficient home. This year two projects received recognition.

Developer of the Year - Ravens' Roost Cohousing
Multi-Family Builder of the Year - Petersen Group

Cohousing combines private and shared spaces to create an intentional community. Energy efficient technology and building materials were prioritized at this property over granite countertops or other amenities. All 35 units meet AHFC's highest energy rating standard, 6-Star.

Single-Family Home Builder of the Year - TS Construction
TS Construction built the home with the highest energy efficiency rating in 2017. The North Pole home uses a geothermal system that pulls heat from the ground and warms the house without relying on burning fossil fuels. Find out more about how a geothermal system works even in the middle of an Alaskan winter here.

From left: Roger Fuson and Bruce Roberts, Ravens’ Roost Cohousing; Bryan Butcher, CEO/executive director of AHFC.

Story/photos: Jimmy Ord

From left: Shawn Holdridge, Petersen Group; Bryan Butcher.

Strength in unity

Alaska's regional housing authorities play a key role in increasing supply of safe, quality, affordable housing. They build, renovate and weatherize homes, provide assistance in purchasing a home, offer renter and homebuyer education, develop infrastructure for housing development, build community facilities and provide employment for thousands of Alaskans each year. These organizations are supported by the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities (AAHA), a nonprofit that provides training and technical assistance for housing programs and facilitates statewide discussions and advocacy about housing.

Partnership between member organizations of AAHA was celebrated at the 2017 Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage last month. Staff from AHFC and AAHA were on hand to provide information to an estimated 5,000 convention attendees about energy efficiency, affordable housing and home financing.

As an incentive to start conversations with attendees about fire safety and other issues, AHFC invitied individuals to participate in a drawing for an Instant Pot. Staff gave out recipe cards adapted from Qaqamiiĝux̂: Traditional Foods and Recipes from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, written by Suanne Unger and distributed by the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association. Setting off a smoke alarm is a rite of passage for all home cooks and a good reminder of the value of planning for fire safety so staff offered attendees new smoke detectors, made possible by a federal grant.

AAHA is asking Alaskans to answer this question, “How has housing affected your life?” Visit aahaak.org to share your experiences and be entered to win an electric pressure cooker. The deadline for entry is December 29, 2017.

Celebrating community during the holiday season

From left, AHFC employees Kimberly Stoltz and Tammy Steele prepare to distribute holiday gifts to senior residents.

In AHFC public housing, home is more than a safe and stable apartment. Building connections and community is a priority for staff and residents. Members of the resident councils work with staff to plan activities all year long such as Friday night music performances at Mountain View property in Juneau. Tenants shine in November and December during the holiday season. Potlucks, cookie parties, carolers and shindigs are being planned across the state.

For the fifth year, residents of senior housing in Anchorage will receive gifts donated by community members through the Salvation Army Angel Tree project. All residents have low income and many do not have family close by. The Salvation Army and other community partners will brighten the holidays for 240 seniors with at least one holiday gift this season. The Angel Tree with requests from residents and other seniors will be located in the lobby of Home Instead, 440 W. Benson Blvd.

Volunteers who are interested in supporting holiday activities for residents who are senior or have a disability can contact kstoltz@ahfc.us for more information. 

New directors join board

Members of AHFC's Board of Directors are appointed by the Governor of Alaska to serve two year terms and are tasked with directing policy and to make decisions about major corporate issues. Two new members recently joined the board as state commissioners.

Sheldon Fisher was appointed as Department of Revenue Commissioner in September 2017. Mr. Fisher has extensive experience in management in both government and private sectors. Prior to his appointment to the Department of Revenue, Mr. Fisher served as Commissioner of Administration for three years and is familiar with AHFC programs through the external review that was conducted in 2016 by Boston Consulting Group.

Mike Navarre, former Mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, joins the board as he takes on the role of Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, and as a former state legislator, also understands the role AHFC has in communities across the state.

The AHFC board of Directors will meet on November 29 at 10:00 a.m. in Anchorage. Find out more about this meeting and future events here

Federal Weatherization Program celebrates 40 years

AHFC partners with 16 service providers around the state to improve safety of existing homes for low-income families which has resulted in close to 20,000 households in Alaska receiving needed safety and energy cost saving upgrades. See the video produced by Department of Commerce that celebrates 40 years of this program benefiting families across the nation.