Ninilchik low-income housing project awarded funding

With state and federal government funding, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has awarded money to seven projects in five communities including Ninilchik.

 

AHFC awarded $924,000 to the Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiatives for Inlet Ridge, a six-unit building for low-income families in Ninilchik.

“The development that we funded in Ninilchik was funded in a large part because (the project) was really cost efficient,” Daniel Delfino, AHFC planner said. “It was located in a rural community, which is a priority under our allocation criteria, and it just hit on a number of targets for affordability and efficiency.”

Steven Rouse, KPHI executive director, said the organization uses the highest quality construction materials possible and builds its housing facilities beyond five-star energy standards.

He said construction on Inlet Ridge could begin as early as this construction season, but it is more likely to break ground in 2015.

All of the ground-floor units in the two-story property will be equipped to house mobility-, visual- or hearing-impaired people, Rouse said.

The complex will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and rent will vary not only based on the size of the unit but also on the tenant’s income and other factors, he said.

KPHI plans to add a four-plex a couple years after the six-unit building is completed, Rouse said.

Inlet Ridge and the other housing projects are funded through AHFC’s Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living grants program, which had a total of $33.2 million to put toward projects statewide.

Delfino said the GOAL program combines in one application three gap funding sources — state grant funds to build rental housing for seniors, federal grant funds for low-income housing and federal tax credits that finance apartment complexes low-income families. He said the tax credits make up most of the funding.

“The funding … is competitive, especially on the federal level and with a lot of other agencies pulling back their resources these days. … I would say on average … every dollar that we have available under that program there are usually anywhere between $2 and $4 dollars in a request so the funding is super competitive,” Delfino said.

Delfino said developing in rural communities — like Ninilchik — with less than 6,500 people and located more than 50 miles from Anchorage or Fairbanks can be challenging and expensive. He said AHFC recognizes those issues, and gives housing proposals in rural communities preference.

AHFC previously helped to fund the Tovarish Manor project in Ninilchik, which is a senior rental project with some low-income units. The Ninilchik Traditional Council submitted the first project application, and KPHI developed it.

Rouse said KPHI has completed more than 120 units in the past 10 years.

“There’s more than adequate demand and need for us to continue for a long time,” he said.

Other projects awarded GOAL funding include: three Anchorage projects for a total of 113 new units, a 32-unit property in Haines, a 22-unit facility in Juneau and six new rental units in Delta Junction.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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