Author: KCAW Staff

For the youngest member of Sitka’s planning commission, affordable housing is a top priority

Katie Riley, 28, grew up in Sitka. After leaving for college and working abroad, she returned to her hometown and decided to get involved. She’s the youngest member of the Sitka Planning Commission and has a passion for addressing Sitka’s affordable housing crisis. KCAW’s Erin McKinstry spoke with Riley about the problem and possible solutions as part of a special “Building Solutions” series.

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For one Sitkan, a dream of debt-free home ownership came in the form of a trailer

When people think of trailer homes, many envision shoddy construction and unhealthy living conditions, but in places like Sitka where construction costs are high and land availability is low, they’re an important affordable housing alternative. For one Sitkan, renovating a trailer provided a path to debt-free home ownership, and this resident is not the only one looking beyond the stigma of trailer living.

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Special rate could help some rural Southeast communities afford heat pumps

Many Southeast Alaska homeowners are converting to electric heat pumps as a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve air quality. But in some of Southeast’s smallest communities, the high cost of electricity makes operating them unaffordable. A recent study found that offering a special rate for heat pumps in the Kupreanof Island village of Kake and other remote communities could help the electric utility, the environment and the consumer.

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