Mountain View Village (Cook Inlet Housing Authority)

Anchorage, Alaska

The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award honors excellence in community planning that has led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic development, employment, education, or housing choice and mobility for low- and moderate-income residents. The award stresses tangible results and recognizes the planning discipline as an important community resource. It emphasizes how creative housing, economic development, and private investments are used in, or in tandem with, a comprehensive community development plan. The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Awards will be presented on April 29, 2014 at the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Cook Inlet Housing Authority’s (CIHA) revitalization initiative, Mountain View Village, will receive the HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award for targeting blighted and deteriorated housing in 2014. Mountain View Village is one of Anchorage's first neighborhoods with the highest Alaska native population, lowest incomes, and need for revitalization. For this scattered site redevelopment project, CIHA collaborated with the Mountain View Council to align the two organization's redevelopment preferences and offer citizens an active role in the planning process. Their goals included decreased absentee landlordism, increased homeownership, and demolition of blighted, deteriorated, or vacant structures.

CIHA purchased blighted structures throughout the neighborhood and is building attractive, affordable homes in their place. This has allowed the entire neighborhood to benefit from revitalization as opposed to one street or one block. CIHA has invested $84 million in Mountain View in land acquisition, redevelopment, and development of rentals and immediate homeownership homes for sale and low interest loan financing for homeowners. Efforts so far have seen the demolition of 130 blighted structures, new construction of 277 affordable homes, and 51 new single family homes built for immediate homeowners (50 have been sold). To date, CIHA has redeveloped 10 percent of all residential units in Mountain View Village and the neighborhood is experiencing the results of its renewal. Household incomes are on the rise, local schools are seeing increased parent participation and better student scores, and more people are choosing to live in Mountain View Village and staying in their residences longer.