Low-income apartments nearly finished

A single person making less than $35,150 a year would be among eligible

Posted: Friday, October 24, 2003

A downtown 22-unit apartment house for low-income tenants will open in January, says Dan Austin, president of the nonprofit organization Channel View Inc.

The 22,000-square-foot Channel View Apartments at 345 Gastineau Ave. will provide one- and two-bedroom apartments for those making less than 60 percent of Juneau's median income.

A single person making less than $35,150 a year or a family of four making $50,200 a year will be eligible, Austin said. Families of two making $40,000 a year and families of three making $45,000 also will be eligible.

Austin, who also serves as director of St. Vincent de Paul, a family homeless shelter in the Mendenhall Valley, said the $3 million building downtown is funded through federal low-income housing tax credits and administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corp.

"Channel View is like any other apartment complex," Austin said. "Tenants pay rent and rents are set by a market rate."

Construction began in June 2002 and should be complete by Dec. 31, Austin said. The final touches include installing a parking deck and interior wallboard and painting, he said.

One-bedroom units will cost $672 a month and two-bedroom units will cost $808. More than half the units already have been committed to tenants, Austin said.

"If you are interested, you want to start the process real soon," he added.

Channel View Inc. is a coalition of local social service agencies that formed about four years ago to fill the need for low-income housing in Juneau, Austin said.

The agencies are St. Vincent de Paul, AWARE, the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc., Juneau Youth Services, Gastineau Human Services, the Glory Hole, Southeast Alaska Guidance Association, and Southeast Alaska Independent Living.

"Many of the nonprofits have to deal with the issue of homeless clients or those in substandard housing," Austin said.

He said some low-income people use federal housing vouchers, called Section 8, to pay part of their rent. But the housing that tenants choose must meet minimum quality standards to qualify for the Section 8 subsidy, Austin said.

"We've found there is a great need for quality low-income housing, so that people can transition from the St. Vincent de Paul and other transitional housing programs," Austin said.

He said 87 households have sought refuge at St. Vincent since July of this year.

"Now when we get them done with the program, we need a place for them to go where they can have confidence that they are going to be successful," he said.

The social service organizations of Channel View Inc. will continue to provide support for clients that move to the Channel View Apartments, he said. But Austin said prospective tenants do not have to be former clients of any of the social service organizations involved.

Pat Murphy, clinical director for the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health Inc., said the organization has a variety of residential treatment facilities but no place for clients to go when transitioning back into society.

"We try to provide a full continuum of care for persons that require 24-hour supervision to people living independently," Murphy said. "Channel View is really independent-living units."

For more information contact Channel View Inc. at 789-4705.

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