Juneau Assembly funds four affordable and mixed-income housing projects

AWARE’s new affordable housing units will be on Cordova Street in West Juneau. The site previously housed the Tlingit & Haida Head Start program. (Photo courtesy of Mandy O’Neal Cole)

Four organizations will receive funding for new housing projects through Juneau’s affordable housing fund. The Juneau Assembly approved $2 million in grants and loans from the fund this week.

AWARE, a nonprofit that supports victims of domestic and sexual violence, will receive a $200,000 grant to develop seven affordable studio apartments in West Juneau. Executive Director Mandy O’Neal Cole said she’s looking forward to offering housing there.

“I think it’s a really good message to survivors, to people who are making the low end of the area median income,” she said. “You get to live in cool neighborhoods, and you get to have the same kind of beautiful view and access to transportation that other people have.”

Cole said the units will help give survivors more privacy and independence than shelters or transitional housing can typically offer. She said the goal is to complete construction by summer.

This is AWARE’s second round of grant funding from the affordable housing fund. It’s also the second round for St. Vincent de Paul. The nonprofit will receive $100,000 for maintenance at its Teal Street Shelter in the Mendenhall Valley.

Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority is working to build 10 affordable two to four bedroom homes in North Douglas over the next three years. They’ll get a $500,000 grant through the housing fund.

The fourth recipient will receive a loan instead of a grant. Utah-based company Rooftop Properties LLC will borrow $1.2 million to build 24 units. It’s part of a planned 444-unit project near Glacier Gardens, between Lemon Creek and the Mendenhall Valley. 

According to the funding proposal, 19 units will be market rate, at $1,925 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $2,275 per month for a two-bedroom. Rent for the other five units will be about $100 less.

Joseph Meyers is the city’s housing and land use specialist. He said it’s important for the city to try to meet all housing needs, and in Juneau, that includes market-rate options.

“It takes all kinds of housing to make a community,” he said.

The Juneau Planning Commission approved the first 96 units of Rooftop’s project this week.

Correction: This story has been updated. A previous version said AWARE’s project will be located in Douglas. The project will be in West Juneau on Douglas Island.

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