The Juneau Affordable Housing Commission unanimously advanced a pair of loan programs Tuesday meant to chisel away at the housing deficit in the capital city.
One program paves the way for low-interest loans for downpayments on manufactured homes, and the second encourages Juneauites to consider building accessory apartments on their properties.
The manufactured loan program would allow for multiple loans up to a maximum amount of $100,000 loaned out at any one time, and the accessory apartment program has a cap of $160,000.
To participate in the accessory apartment program, the homeowner would need a building permit and certificate of occupancy from the city.
The money for the loans would come from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. Both programs now head to the Assembly for final approval.
Among other topics, the commission heard the first request for a $150,000-loan by the Haven House, a faith-based non-profit seeking to serve women coming out of prison in Juneau.
Larry Talley, secretary for the Haven House, presented the group’s case to the commission. While the program is centered on Christian beliefs, it will not be required of clients to agree with the faith.
“We won’t make a statement of faith a requirement, but it is going to be a faith-based program,” Talley said.
The plan is to purchase a six-bedroom house in Juneau and house nine women as they acclimate themselves to life outside of prison. The pitch for funding has been difficult in a traditional sense, Talley said, because the operational budget exceeds guaranteed revenue by $10,000 to $25,000 annually.
Still, numerous grants along with personal and in-kind donations have continued to come in as the board of directors has worked over the past several years to get the house open.
“Some board members have repeatedly said, ‘We’re faith-based, why are we worrying where every dollar will come from?’” Talley said. “So we’re pressing on.”
The Affordable Housing Commission will be setting a subcommittee meeting in the near future to review the groups loan application before deciding if it will petition the Assembly to allow the loan to be made out of the Affordable Housing Fund.