Assembly committee shown new housing database

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Lands and Resources Committee reviewed a new downtown housing inventory the CBJ will soon post online.

    A 2020 goal of the Assembly is to increase housing stock in the downtown area through the development of tax incentives.

    Chief Housing Officer Scott Ciambor said the CBJ has been trying to get more housing downtown for 30 years.

    The CBJ noted an Anchorage law in 2019 that provided tax incentives that led to the development of over 50 new units in the downtown area.

    The CBJ Community Development Department and Housing Office have been developing a better understanding of the downtown housing situation to meet goals set by the Assembly, and as identified in various CBJ plans.

    These included the Comprehensive Plan, Juneau Economic Development Plan, and Housing Action Plan.

    The CBJ wants to provide a better understanding of the downtown housing stock to determine where housing development opportunities exist.  They also want to understand the barriers to development and work on housing incentives in the CBJ Housing Action plan.  These incentives could include tax breaks, rehabilitation loans, grants or loans for new units or code compliance, historic tax credits, and different methods of financing.

    Obstacles include the avalanche zones and the FEMA flood zones. 

    There are 181 housing units in the downtown district.  There are 37 residential properties.  There are between 19-49 units for workforce housing.  There have been no housing units developed downtown since 2017.  There were 1,285 ambulance calls downtown with 364 of the patients identified as homeless.  39 properties are registered in the historic district.

    The Committee recommended staff come back with language for new tax abatements for the downtown area.


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