Cook Inlet Housing Authority earns national award

On Monday, Aug. 31, while visiting Anchorage, President Barack Obama announced that Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) was one of six organizations nationwide to be selected to participate in the ArtPlace American Community Development Investments program. The program’s goal is to help shape the social, physical and economic futures of communities.

Through the ArtPlace program, CIHA will receive $3 million over three years to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its work.

“We have not yet determined how the funding will be deployed, but we do intend to explore new neighborhood revitalization strategies that bring arts and culture to the table early in the development planning process,” says CIHA President and CEO Carol Gore, a CIRI shareholder.

Gore had a chance to personally thank President Obama for the ArtPlace opportunity when she met the president at a tribal leaders’ roundtable the same day.

“There were about a dozen of us who engaged in a conversation about Alaska Native issues – including housing,” Gore says. “Much of the conversation was about high energy costs, lack of infrastructure, erosion in coastal communities and closer collaboration in our work with the federal government. My interest was one of providing evidence of our high cost of living and examples of using local decision making to identify innovative solutions.”

In addition to engaging in meaningful dialogue about Alaska’s housing issues and offering her gratitude for the ArtPlace selection, Gore was also able to make contact with President Obama – literally. “Perhaps the most exciting was getting a hug from the president!” she shared.

Congratulations to CIHA on becoming an ArtPlace program!