Another Anchorage hotel converted into low-income housing is set to come online this fall.
The renovation of the former Barratt Inn in Spenard is the latest move in a public-private partnership between the city government and community leaders to stand up housing in an effort to address homelessness.
At a Thursday morning news conference, Jason Bockenstedt, executive director of the Anchorage Affordable Housing and Land Trust, said it’s the third hotel recently converted into housing.
“Upon completing the renovation of this property, the trust will have added over 270 new affordable housing units across three properties in just the last nine months,” Bockenstedt said, prompting applause from the room.
Homelessness advocates say the city would need to build more than 2,000 housing units to effectively end homelessness in Anchorage.
The Barratt Inn will have 96 permanent housing units, which range in size from single-occupancy to one-and two-bedroom apartments. The units have refrigerators, but only some have kitchen sinks and none have ovens. The building has free communal kitchens and laundry services for residents to use.
Bockenstedt said he expects residents to move in by September. He said the goal is to serve people who are low income or at poverty level. Monthly rent will range from $840 to $1,150 per unit, including utilities. Bockenstedt said the median price for a one-bedroom in Anchorage is roughly $1,300 a month, not including utilities.
Many residents will likely use housing vouchers through social security, the VA and other avenues, he said.
“I would guess, here, there’s probably going to be upwards of 70% that have a voucher that comes with them,” he said. “And that will be what kind of pays for their rent.”
Other recent hotel conversions include the former Guest House and LakeShore Inn, which both became low-income housing. Plus, the former Sockeye Inn now serves as a shelter for homeless people with complex needs.
The work in Anchorage to open more housing is getting federal recognition, too. Officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development were in Anchorage this week to present the Rasmuson Foundation, a statewide nonprofit, with the 2023 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.
HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar said Rasmuson was integral in spearheading partnerships and helping braid federal relief with donations to fund the housing projects.
“This initiative will have garnered the largest increase in housing for low income and extremely low income households in Anchorage’s history,” Salazar said. “It is truly transformational.”
Salazar also announced that soon, HUD will launch an $85 million Pro-Housing fund that will allow communities nationwide to apply for grants to increase housing and get rid of regulatory barriers to building. She said grants will range from $1 million to $10 million per community.