Home is home: finding a way to stay amid a housing shortage in rural Alaska

Overcrowding is a perennial problem in rural Alaska, but the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with it harder. Cramped conditions offer little space to work from home, conduct virtual schooling, or quarantine, and put many multigenerational households at increased risk of infection. Tackling the problem isn’t easy, but, as Erin McKinstry reports for Alaska Public Media, federal COVID funds are offering some relief in the Bering Straits Region.

a family on a couch watching tv with antlers in the background holding up ski goggles
Sophia Katchatag, her husband Murphy Katchatag and their son Eric, Jr., 4, watch TV in their small, two bedroom home in Shaktoolik, Alaska, in January 2022. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

RELATED: After more than a decade, overcrowded Shaktoolik is finally getting new homes

RELATED: Watch the full Alaska Insight episode on this issue. Lori Townsend discusses the limitations and solutions with Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness Chair Chris Kolerok and Colleen Dushkin, executive director of the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities.

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