Housing That is Affordable

The term "affordable housing" has misleading preconceptions attached. People think of "affordable housing" as substandard and/or subsidized low-income housing. This is not what we at SEDA are talking about. SEDA is referring to the need for housing that is affordable to residents at all income levels.

Many people in Sitka's workforce have a difficult time renting decent quality housing or purchasing their own home. There are two sides to this problem - income levels and housing costs. You probably know that SEDA works on issues and projects that relate to the creation of jobs that have income levels able to support the local cost of living. However, you may not know, SEDA is also working on issues and projects that directly address the lack of housing options for working people in the community.

Percent of Sitkans that pay more than 30% on housing-2015


The United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as a household that pays not more than 30% of its annual income on housing.

how SEDA supports Affordable housing

Advocates: SEDA is active in encouraging local leaders to address the need for development of housing options that are affordable for Sitka's working residents.

Research: SEDA staff look for opportunities to make housing more affordable in Sitka by researching what has worked and not worked in other communities and sharing this information with City representatives and the Sitka Community Development Corporation.

Data Tracking: SEDA staff track and review housing data from a variety of sources to get a better understanding of the local housing market and provide this data to the public through our website, annual presentations, the Sitka Community Profile, and to organizations and agencies that need this data to apply for grants.

Recommendations: SEDA develops proposals for actions the City and Borough can take to make it easier for development of affordable housing. One example is the Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance that was adopted in 2013 and allows for the construction of ADUs as a permitted use in certain residential zones. This was initiated and drafted by SEDA staff.

Networking: SEDA works with the Sitka Community Development Corporation on several issues related to housing affordability such as the potential for development of cottage communities and the creation of a community land trust.