Pulled from the Kodiak Island Borough Housing Needs Assessment

The Kodiak region, both on the Road System and within the village communities, experiences a significant shortage of available, affordable housing. This is particularly true, according to Kodiak Economic Development Corporation (KEDC), for “median-level income earners.” In response, KEDC has formed a Housing Steering Committee and is actively pursuing funding opportunities to create a housing action plan for Kodiak. KEDC is looking at forming a Community Land Trust (CLT), where, the buildable land is owned by the CLT and the homeowner purchases the structure and all improvements. KEDC hopes to work with the Kodiak Island Housing Authority and the City of Kodiak to produce as many as 18 duplexes.

Housing shortages have caused challenges for attracting a desirable workforce to the Kodiak Region. Employers (ranging from the Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, the Kodiak Island Borough School District, construction companies, Native Corporations, and more) report housing as a substantial deterrence to effectively recruiting staff to move to Kodiak. Providence Hospital took steps to address this challenge by enacting the Providence Kodiak Workforce Housing Project, a 16-unit facility to house new staff while they search for permanent housing .

A report titled “Kodiak Island Borough Housing Needs Assessment,” produce by McKinley Research Group for Kodiak Island Housing Authority in May 2022 analyzed the current and future housing conditions in the Kodiak Region.

The report found:
• Housing costs in Kodiak are rising and are more expensive than the Alaska-wide median housing costs both for renting and purchasing. There is limited availability of multi-family housing.
• 28% of Kodiak households are “cost burdened,” meaning that they spend 30% or more of monthly household income on rent or ownership costs.
• Most interest is in single-family, less than 2,000 square foot homes between $300,000 and $400,000; survey respondents state that housing affordability and availability is poor to very poor.
• The assessment indicates that demand exists for between 65 to 75 new single-family households with income above $100,000 (approximate income to support a $340,000 home).
• Strong demand for residents and employers for “professional” high-quality rental units; whereas demand for low-income housing is weaker.
Specifically, for the Village Communities, the report found:
• Many vacant housing units exist in village communities, some due to seasonal usage with others needing momentous maintenance and are practically uninhabitable.
• Housing in the village communities are overwhelmingly single-family homes (96%)
• Populations in the village communities are declining, from 768 in 2010 to 619 in 2020; Low household income persists with high numbers of households below the federal poverty level.
• The assessment indicates that demand exists for between five to ten, new or refurbished, housing units in each village community. However, the average home value is quite low in comparison to the costs of land and materials required to build new housing.
• Survey respondents express that there is a demand for housing for Tribal members who would like to move back to the village. Additionally, younger residents living in multi-generational housing also require additional housing support.
• Availability for housing for rent and/or for purchase, are poor to very poor, and nearly ½ of survey respondents were dissatisfied with the state of repair and energy efficiency in their homes.