The Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) has been selected to receive the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award by the American Planning Association (APA) and HUD for its revitalization initiative in Mountain View.
“In 2002, Mountain View was a neighborhood with a bad reputation,” said CIHA President and CEO Carol Gore. “To us, Mountain View was our ‘village.’ It was home to the largest concentration of Alaska Native people in Anchorage. We wanted to become a catalyst for the kind of change that would empower our people and build our community.”
With community partners, CIHA launched the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, dedicated to renovating some of Anchorage’s older neighborhoods, starting with Mountain View.
Today, Mountain View is one of the fastest growing areas in Anchorage, thanks in part to the $84 million CIHA invested to remove deteriorated properties and improve the quality of the neighborhood’s housing. Through CIHA’s efforts, 130 blighted buildings were demolished, making way for 277 new, affordable homes, including 51 single-family houses. As a result, household incomes in Mountain View are up more than seven percent and more people are choosing to make this neighborhood their permanent home.
“The outcomes are beyond what we could ever hope,” said Gore. “We see measurable outcomes in education, economic investment, reduction in crime, and community gardens, and real engagement from residents who now care about their neighborhood. It is humbling to know CIHA has helped to make this difference in our community.”
Each year, the APA honors the country’s best community planning efforts. The HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award is given to a project or program that improves quality of life for low- and moderate-income community residents. The winner is selected based upon how that project used creative housing, economic growth and private investments to empower a community through development.
CIHA will be presented with the award at the APA National Planning Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in April this year.