A Roof

Everyone deserves a roof over their head

About the Project

Over the next year KTOO Public Media/360 North will undertake an intensive project examining housing and homelessness issues in Alaska. We’re calling this project “A Roof.” As in, everybody deserves a roof over their head.

No matter where you live, whether it’s Anchorage, a smaller community on the road system, or in the Bush, the cost and availability of housing affects you. The average single-family home in Alaska sold for about $300,000 in 2012, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. By comparison, the average home in the rest of the country was less than $200,000.

Not only is it more expensive to live in Alaska, but housing costs are on the rise. The average home price in the state increased 36 percent or $78,000 from 1992 to 2012. Meanwhile, the average rental price went from just over a thousand dollars a month in 2002 to over $1,100 in 2012.

Many Alaskans live in substandard housing. The U.S. Census Bureau reports nearly 12,000 Alaskans live without complete plumbing and more than 9,000 don’t have a complete kitchen.

Then there are the nearly 1,800 Alaskans who don’t have any place to call home. There are a number of issues that lead to homelessness and trying to understand and explain them will be part of our challenge as we move forward with “A Roof.”

We’re aiming to hold several town hall meetings in communities across the state. They’ll be produced with the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, which is partially funding the project. Each meeting will include discussion of issues the coalition is working to address, including family and youth homelessness, domestic violence and housing development. All of the meetings will be streamed live on 360north.org and broadcast statewide on 360 North TV.

We’ll be reporting on relevant housing and homelessness issues and producing stories for public radio, TV and the web.

Finally, we’ll be covering the 2014 Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness annual conference. Again, the conference will be live-streamed on our website and broadcast on television.

We know solving some of these issues won’t happen overnight, but we hope “A Roof” will shine a light on the work being done to address housing and homelessness in Alaska.

A Roof is funded through KTOO’s Public Affairs Fund for Homelessness and Affordable Appropriate Housing.
Contributors include:

  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness
  • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Juneau in partnership with the Juneau Clean Air Coalition
  • Northrim Bank