More housing options could be coming to Bethel. The Bethel City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance to enter into an agreement with the Orutsararmiut Native Council to develop a subdivision. The approximately 17-acre neighborhood would be located near the Bethel post office and contain 38 housing lots.
The Ciullkulek Subdivision agreement has been nearly two decades in the making. ONC council member Raymond Watson says that the tribal council began discussing the development in the early 2000s. He says that many tribal members are unable to qualify for mortgages, and the subdivision is ONC’s solution to tribal home ownership.
“The subdivision is actually a good thing for this community," Watson said. "It’s actually a good thing for all of us. We take a parcel of land and develop it for the future – for the future of our children, for the future of our tribe, for the future of Bethel.”
ONC Chairman Walter Jim says that the subdivision will provide low-income housing for tribal members and relief from overcrowding, a chronic issue across the region. It will also deliver benefits beyond housing.
“In this subdivision we’d have a place set aside for a multipurpose building that will be a daycare service for senior citizens and be a place for our young to go to in the evenings to do homework or whatever,” Jim explained.
The Bethel City Council agreed and introduced an ordinance to begin the process.
The decision follows last meeting’s vote to enter into an agreement with the developer of the proposed Blue Sky Subdivision, which would wrap around the Larson Subdivision near the Bethel airport.