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Housing 101 for ad hoc committee

Posted: January 9, 2013 - 1:04am

Juneau’s assembly members are going to take it upon themselves to deepen their housing market knowledge while they work to build a resource of housing industry insight.

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly ad hoc housing committee met Tuesday at the City Hall conference room 224.

To nudge Juneau’s housing vacancy rate closer to the desired 5 percent the assembly created an add hoc committee on housing. The committee decided to tap the expertise of Juneau’s housing industry developers, lenders, land owners, Realtors and real estate agents. This expertise will help inform the assembly as to the challenges and opportunities of Juneau’s housing market. To find out why the houses Juneau needs are not being built.

Assembly member Randy Wanamaker said he was concerned the committee was proceeding too fast with its plan to deliver to the full assembly reports on the challenges and opportunities brought forward by housing industry insiders.

“We need to know how to make suggestions,” Wanamaker said. He recommended the assembly hear from CBJ staff on Juneau’s housing market. “A Housing 101.”

City Manager Kim Kiefer said the assembly will benefit from a presentation of the Juneau Economic Development Council’s recently releases housing needs assessment at the Assembly Lands Committee before the Committee of the Whole Jan. 14.

Assembly member Carlton Smith said individuals, as well as groups, are encouraged to share experiences and institutional knowledge.

“People I’ve talked to have shown a high degree of interest,” Smith said.

Assembly Member Mary Becker said interested industry stakeholders will not be asked to join an organized goup to take part in the ad hoc committee report.

“We’re not looking for a committee,” Becker said, “We’re looking for thoughts.”

Those interested in sharing with the ad hoc committee can contact CBJ Municipal Clerk Laurie Sica at www.juneau.org/clerk.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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