SCLT and Local News

Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Sitka Community Land Trust and Announce a New Name for Sitka's Affordable Housing Community on Halibut Point Road: Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) and the Sitka Community Land Trust (SCLT) are proud to announce the renaming of SCLT's new affordable housing community located at 1306 Halibut Point Road with the Tlingit name “S'us' Héeni Sháak" Community. With staff support from STA Culture and Community Liaison, Daanax.ilséik Chuck Miller, and STA Tribal Community Elder Coordinator, Xannie Borseth, the name was discussed and recommended by STA's Cultural Resource Committee (CRC), a group of Tlingit elders and culture bearers who gather for regular monthly meetings. S'us' Héeni Sháak refers to the watershed area around S’us’ Héeni (Harlequin Duck Creek/Cascade Creek) on which the SCLT land is located. more (PDF file)

SEARHC Donates to Sitka Community Land Trust for Affordable Housing

Left to right: Mim McConnell, Executive Director; Michelle Putz, Secretary; Deb Miller; Doug Osborne, President; Martha Pearson; Randy Hughey, Project Manager; Maureen O'Hanlon; Ryan Gluth, Vice-President.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Grants to SCLT for Affordable Housing SCLT received the first installment for a $75,000 grant for the 2019/2020 grant period. This is the third grant that CCHD has awarded for operational funds for our organization. To date, SCLT has received $141,000 in grant funds from CCHD since 2017. This is outside money that is spent in Sitka. CCHD is focused on empowering low-income people and communities. They encourage efforts to help poor and low-income people make their voices heard and participate more fully in public life.

SITKA, February 26, 2019 – On Saturday, February 23 SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) donated $25,000 to the Sitka Community Land Trust (SCLT) in support of more economical housing at the Affordable Housing Fair. The funds are for Phase I site development of Halibut Point Cottages in Sitka to complete the soil remediation and finalize site prep work. With funding secured, construction of Phase I, which includes seven cottage-style homes, should begin this spring. Phase II includes construction of seven additional cottages on adjacent land that the City and Borough of Sitka committed to the SCLT pending Phase I completion.

SCLT Project Manager Randy Hughey stated, “SEARHC’s donation is important in that it will allow SCLT to cover the cost of the soil remediation for the buyers, keeping the home prices affordable.”

“This donation will have a tremendously positive impact,” said SCLT Executive Director Mim McConnell. “Receiving a donation of this size from a local and regional organization shows strong support for the SCLT. It will help leverage other donations both locally and from state and national foundations.”

The SCLT is a nonprofit entity whose parent organization, the Sitka Community Development Corporation, formed in 2006. The SCLT's goal is creating community-supported, sustainable, and affordable homeownership in Sitka and throughout Southeast Alaska. The SCLT combats the high cost of owning a home in Sika by acquiring land and building small homes. The trust retains ownership of the land, and the owners purchase only the structure. Prospective homeowners’ income must classify as low to moderate to qualify for an SCLT home.

“Safe and affordable housing is critical for a community to be healthy,” said SEARHC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Clement. “We are honored to partner with the SCLT on making this a reality.”

Sitka Land Trust Gets $234,000 Grant. An affordable housing project at the Old City Shops land on Halibut Point Road is moving forward, thanks to a $234,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.
The funds will help set the stage for the first phase of the project to build six houses on the vacant tract at 1306 Halibut Point Road, Community Land Trust President Randy Hughey said.  more (PDF file) or go to

Multiple-Unit Project Next for Land Trust As the Sitka Community Land Trust makes plans to break ground on a multiple-unit housing project, it’s still seeking a buyer for the first home it has built.

Land Trust president Randy Hughey spoke at the Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday about the newest project at the Old City Shops land on Halibut Point Road, and the groups’ first home on Lillian Drive. Read the PDF or read at the Sentinel.

Rasmuson grant boosts Sitka’s affordable cottage plan An affordable cottage neighborhood on Halibut Point Road in Sitka took another step toward reality, with the help of almost a quarter-of-a-million dollars in grant funding.

Listen to the story:

Sitka Land Trust Gets $234,000 Grant. An affordable housing project at the Old City Shops land on Halibut Point Road is moving forward, thanks to a $234,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.
The funds will help set the stage for the first phase of the project to build six houses on the vacant tract at 1306 Halibut Point Road, Community Land Trust President Randy Hughey said.  more (PDF file) or go to the Sentinel's website.

  • Community Presentation: This is a video of our Old City Shops Affordable Cottage Community Slide Presentation.

  • Assembly Advances Affordable Housing "The Assembly took its first step Tuesday night [11-10-15] toward creating a six-home affordable housing project on the old city shops property. The vote was 6-0 to approve an ordinance selling the plot at 1306 Halibut Point Road to Sitka Community Development Corporation for $1. The ordinance states that all this, and the other two parcels, 1410 and 1414 HPR, will be dedicated to affordable housing." more
  • Annual Report: The SCDC 2014 Annual Report is available.
  • SCDC is an IGNITE! Community Pitch Fest Award winner

SCDC was recently one of 6 CLTs featured at the National CLT Network Conference in Lexington, KY. SCDC "walked away with $500 and the bragging rights of being a nationally recognized program for innovation and impact." Here's the story.See the story below for more details.
  • As a result of the KCAW report going national (see below), the Sitka CLT affordable cottage neighborhood design was noticed by the National Community Land Trust Network (NCLTN) staff, and now SCDC has been chosen to present its Old City Shops affordable cottage neighborhood design at the NCLTN's first annual IGNITE! Community Pitch Fest! This is the description of the project: "With a scarcity of privately owned land available for housing of any kind, Sitka Community Development Corporation is repurposing a parcel of municipal land into an affordable cottage neighborhood for 13 families. Already, the Rasmuson Foundation is thinking that Sitka CDC’s cottage neighborhood could be a replicable idea for other Alaskan communities."
  • The latest Sitka CLT housing plan has gone national! KCAW's report was picked up by the national “Housing Matters” newsletter published by the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation: COTTAGE NEIGHBORHOOD OFFERS WALKABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY.
  • Board Member Joshua Houston thanks the public on KCAW.
  • Playhouse Raffle. The Sitka Community Development Corporation (SCDC) sold raffle tickets for a playhouse this fall and are pleased to announce that William E Davis and Nancy Yaw Davis have won the SCDC playhouse! The money received will be used to continue the support of the Sitka Community Land Trust Program for permanently affordable housing. playhouse raffleThanks to everyone who purchased tickets and James Poulson and Mark Guillory for making the playhouse. Thanks also to Kathy Dumag, manager at Spenard Builders Supply - SITKA, and Judi Lehman, for materials, and Arrowhead Press for printing the tickets. Thanks to The Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce for letting us do this raffle using their state permit. Thanks to KCAW for public service announcements, and to Buzz Brown for the lengthy loan of his trailer. Thanks to Sea Mart Quality Foods for letting us sell tickets there. And thanks for all the great conversations at Sea Mart, the Sitka Counseling Christmas Bazaar and the Sitka Artisans Market, and for your support for the Community Land Trust Program.
  • CLT Land: City and Borough of Sitka Assembly gives land to Sitka Community Land Trust! Sentineland KCAW
  • Affordable Housing Support.
    Roger Hames, CEO of Hames Corp., right, presents a $5,000 check to the Sitka Community Development Corporation Executive Director Mim McConnell and Sea Mart donationBoard President Randy Hughey to help create affordable housing in Sitka, through a Community Land Trust. The money was a "challenge grant" that SCDC received after a matching $5,000 was raised; Rich Riggs of Silver Bay Seafood, Duke and Mae Dunsing, Mike Venneberg, Bonnie Brenner and Gary Smith of Schmolck Mechanical collectively donated the matching $5,000.

CLT work12/18-19, 2012, SCDC hosted a Community Land Trust (CLT) consultant in Sitka. Michael Brown (photo, right) of Burlington Associates in Community Development, LLC generously donated some of his vacation time while visiting a daughter in Juneau to make a number of presentations about CLTs and meet with various city officials and the SCDC board of directors. This is theDaily Sitka Sentinel News article covering the presentation to the Assembly and the SCDC Directors. Mim McConnell and Brown visited KCAW for a morning interview with Robert Woosley, KCAW News Director.

The KCAW Morning Interview: SCDC explores building materials reuse facility, community land trusts December 15, 2011 Listen/Read off site...

Let's End Homelessness Now - Watch and Find Out How:


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Funding Affordable Housing

There are virtually no negative policy implications to providing funding for affordable housing. Here are some bullet points from a  Center for Housing Policy brief. Affordable housing policies:
  1. Create jobs: Investing in the development of affordable housing creates a significant number of construction-related jobs, and new residents support additional jobs in other sectors going forward.
  2. Attract both employers and employees. Surveys and supporting research show that both employers and workers understand the importance of affordable housing in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce.
  3. Increase consumer spending. Building affordable housing increases the buying power of both those involved in its construction and those who occupy it afterward.
  4. Increase government revenues. The taxes and fees associated with the development of affordable housing – both during the construction and after the homes are occupied – can represent significant revenue for state and local governments.
  5. Lower the risk of foreclosure. Affordable homeownership programs appear to produce a more sustainable path to homeownership, eliminating a number of significant foreclosure-related costs that municipalities would otherwise have to absorb.

Affordable Housing News

  • Enterprise and JCHS Project Renter Burdens in 2025 This is relevant reading for Sitka since we also have a high rate of renter burdens. This article is focused on 'severely' rent burdened, meaning they are paying more than half their income in rent. A 5-yr average ('09-'13) of Sitka's cost-burdened households (paying more than 30% of their household income for rent) is 49.6%.

    "Overall, these projections lead to the sobering conclusion that severe renter burdens are likely to worsen over the next 10 years, particularly for older people, non-white households, married couples and single people. As it is, only about one in four income eligible households receive housing assistance today. Our projections indicate that this share will only get lower if more isn’t done to meet this burgeoning need. Given these findings, it is critical for policymakers at all levels of government to prioritize the preservation of existing affordable housing and expand supports for additional housing assistance to keep up with the need that is likely to continue to grow."
  • The Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists"The findings demonstrate that there is an acute and persistent shortage of rental housing that is affordable for the lowest income Americans." Read this Housing Spotlight report.
  • I've been hearing talk from some Sitkans about creating more "urban" housing so folks can have a walkable lifestyle here. Below are some thoughts about how likely that change will occur in the near future. What If the Housing Bust Wasn’t a Game-Changer? by EMILY BADGER. This opens off-site.
  • Gimme Shelter: A Special Report on the Housing Crisis, Yukon News, August 27, 2011 (NOTE: be sure to read the other articles on this page.)"Housing is one of those issues that does poorly in our system of government. It’s complex, immune to quick fixes and requires both big investment and long-term planning."