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United Way [AK] launches effort to address housing shortage (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

Alaska Journal of Commerce
(7/24/2014 5:46 PM, Elwood Brehmer)

United Way Anchorage is spearheading a collaborative effort to attack Anchorage’s housing woes. The nonprofit, traditionally known as a charitable organization, is conducting surveys of Anchorage employers and workers to identify what the city’s residents want to live in and how the currently compressed market is impacting local businesses.

“We want to get a real flavor of what people want, what they can afford and what they’re willing to pay for so we can then start figuring out what are the sweetest strategies that will spur production of those kind of units,” United Way Anchorage President and CEO Michele Brown said.

The surveys will be dispersed to Anchorage’s largest employers during the end of July and early August, Brown said. They will also be available at a number of locations around town and through an email distribution. Aside from the questions determining business type and size and employee demographics that can be expected in most surveys, the employer questionnaire asks business leaders whether or not they offer relocation packages for new hires coming to Alaska. It also inquires about where the majority of their employees live — in Anchorage, the surrounding communities or farther away in the Palmer-Wasilla area.

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