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Three Y-K Delta communities have received federal funding to build new housing

Mertarvik, Alaska on July 14, 2020. The Newtok Village Council is building new three-bedroom homes as residents relocate to the new village site to escape coastal erosion.
Katie Basile
/
KYUK
Mertarvik, Alaska on July 14, 2020. The Newtok Village Council is building new three-bedroom homes as residents relocate to the new village site to escape coastal erosion.

Federal funding for housing is coming to three Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities. Aniak, Chefornak, and Newtok have each received $1,035,000 in grant money to build new housing in their villages.

Aniak will use the money to construct five tiny homes. The homes will be used as temporary shelter for families impacted by COVID-19. In Chefornak, the community will construct a road and housing pads for future homes. And the Newtok Village Council will build three homes, each with three-bedrooms.

The housing construction is needed in the region. A 2017 report from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation ranked the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta as having more overcrowded homes than any other Alaska region. Overcrowding in the region is more than 12 times the national average, and is largely due to a lack of available housing.

Also, much of the housing that does exist needs renovation. Homes are often draftier and use more energy compared to other homes in the state. About a third of the homes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta do not contain complete bathrooms.

Anna Rose MacArthur is the KYUK News Director. She has worked at KYUK since 2015 and previously worked at KNOM in Nome, Alaska.
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