REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2013
Statements on Bi-Partisan Bill Improving Housing Quality, Access
Jointly Written Costello and Gara Bill Makes Communities and AHFC Housing More Vibrant, More Available
JUNEAU – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) issued the following statement on a bill sponsor Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) and he as a co-sponsor wrote and worked on together. The Bill, HB 50, passed the Legislature today.
“Smart community planning in most cities allows residential housing to be combined with services neighbors need, like grocery stores, restaurants, day care, and other services that make communities more vibrant. Currently AHFC, in the housing it builds or finances, cannot allow commercial or non-profit services to be located in their complexes. That’s poor community planning, and AHFC, Rep. Costello and I have been working to change this. That’s what HB 50 does.
“We want to make sure that communities are vibrant, and that the state doesn’t engage in poor community planning. Rep. Costello and I learned of another important benefit of the bill after we wrote it – that by allowing full rent to be charged to businesses, AHFC and developers can make these projects more economic, and can likely build additional units to ease our housing shortage for low and middle income, and other Alaskans.
“I am thankful for all of Rep. Costello’s strong work on this bill, and it has been a pleasure to do bi-partisan work together to move Alaska forward. This is an example of how the Legislature should work.
“For the last 15 years I have worked closely with Alaska Housing Finance to provide affordable housing to Alaskans in Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su Valley and Kenai. Rising construction costs and land costs have made it more difficult to fill funding gaps. HB 50 would provide other revenue sources that could allow a property to carry more debt and fill these financing holes,” said Glenn Gellert, Managing Member for Trapline LLC, an Alaska development company.
“Our work would not be possible without substantial investments from AHFC. Cook Inlet Housing Authority believes HB50 will provide AHFC reasonable flexibility to finance and build new housing developments that enhance quality of life for residents and better promote economic development in communities throughout the state,” said Carol Gore, President and CEO of Cook Inlet Housing Authority in a letter submitted in support of the legislation.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) builds and finances low, mixed, market rate and senior housing across Alaska.
To contact Rep. Costello, please call 907-465-4968.
To Contact Rep. Gara, please call 907-465-2647