We are still writing our story, listening to and responding to the needs of our communities in a sustainable and strategic manner, in order to best provide housing opportunities that empower our people and build our community.
By 2016, our neighborhood revitalization efforts in Mountain View had brought us to our fifth phase of work in the neighborhood. Altogether, we built rental housing for 269 households, in a variety of housing styles including single family, duplex, triplex, fourplex and larger multi-family, mixed-use buildings; because no two families are alike and every household has different needs. Our work in Mountain View served as a catalyst for other investments by private and public entities in the neighborhood creating economic opportunities and investment in public infrastructure.
In 2004, CIHA again took a bold step after identifying the neighborhood most in need of better affordable housing opportunities. We broke ground on our first phase of rental housing in the neighborhood of Mountain View in Anchorage.
CIHA not only wanted to expand its rental housing portfolio, we wanted to provide homeownership opportunities for those residents ready to take that next step. In 2001, CIHA started Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC), a Community Development Financial Institution, in order to offer low and modest-income individuals and families, access to affordable financial products and services towards their home purchase. Currently CILC offers lending products to communities and families of all races, nationalities and income backgrounds within the state of Alaska.
In 2002, we opened Strawberry Village Cottages in south Anchorage. It was our first family rental housing development and began our journey of trailblazing innovative funding methods to address our affordable housing demand. Leveraging mixed sources of funding allowed CIHA to take a bold step, applying Fair Housing laws, to provide housing opportunities to all eligible low and moderate income people in our service area, regardless of race. This was a milestone for CIHA.
By the year 2000, Cook Inlet Housing began the work of expanding its rental housing portfolio by listening and investigating the need. We discovered that families and individuals were consistently being turned away when they sought housing, because of our limited portfolio, which at the time served only senior households. Anchorage needed more affordable housing for families and individuals.
In 1996, HUD reorganized the system of federal housing assistance provided to Native Americans by creating an Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) through the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA). NAHASDA allowed more flexibility for local decision making, creating opportunities for CIHA to change its business model. And, we did change!
In 1974, CIHA established our roots in the provision of affordable elder (senior) rental housing. Funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was used to support a variety of early programs at CIHA, but that funding was unpredictable and sparse, while the needs of the people of Alaska were tremendous and the cost to build housing in the region was (and is) extremely expensive.