Client: Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Location: Anchorage + Vicinity
Project Date: 2008- Present
Project Lead: Thea Agnew Bemben, Heidi Wailand + Shanna Zuspan
The Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) is the Tribally Designated Housing Authority for the Cook Inlet Region, Inc. CIHA specializes in quality affordable housing for elders, individuals and families in the Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI). CIHA has contracted with Agnew::Beck to assist with several initiatives:
Centennial Village Wellness Plan
Agnew::Beck worked with CIHA to develop a comprehensive wellness plan for residents living in Centennial Village, a senior housing community in East Anchorage. AB conducted stakeholder surveys and focus group meetings to inform a preliminary assessment of residents’ health status and interest in support services and activities as they age on campus. Based on these results AB created a campus master plan to guide physical improvements to the campus facilities; these were supplemented with recommendations for social and fitness programs to support healthy lifestyles. We learned that residents wanted to be able to get around campus more easily, indicating the need for changes in shuttle services and increased walkability among campus facilities. People also needed more reasons and natural places to socialize. While each residential building had community spaces, the campus as a whole had no community center where everyone felt welcome. Consequently, residents kept to their individual apartments and buildings. The master plan re-envisioned Centennial Village as a cohesive campus with increased connections among buildings, a mix of residential, community and retail uses, and a new campus center. The plan recommended renovating an existing building at the heart of the Centennial Village campus to create the “Centennial Center,” where residents can run errands, enjoy events and activities, and socialize. Cook Inlet has since implemented the master plan, making improvements to walking paths, several buildings, and renovations to create the Centennial Center. AB assisted CIHA with fundraising for the Centennial Center facility.
Mountain View Community Indicators
In 2000, CIHA embraced the community’s ideas and built 218 new well-designed single family, duplex, and lower density multi-family homes in Mountain View. Their work touched 75 percent of the residential blocks in the neighborhood. As soon as their investment plan was complete, CIHA wanted to know: Did we make a difference? Agnew::Beck was hired to assess CIHA’s impact in a data-driven way. Through a series of interviews and data analysis, using multiple sources, Agnew::Beck developed a set of community indicators to assess the changes in Mountain View. The project entailed assessing the impacts of infill and revitalization efforts and identifying the complexities and barriers to redevelopment in Anchorage.
Research into Statewide Affordable Housing Issues
The Research into Statewide Affordable Housing Issues project was designed to help the organization better understand issues facing affordable housing providers in rural and urban Alaska. To that end, Agnew::Beck led a series of interviews with a wide range of rural and urban affordable housing experts. These interviews have led to an increased understanding of the issues and challenges facing housing providers across the state. Agnew::Beck has proposed a series of possible strategies for improving programs and systems based on preliminary findings and will be partnering with CIHA to share these findings and explore possible solutions with a variety of stakeholders.
Funding Research and Proposal Development Services
Agnew::Beck provides ongoing funding research and proposal development services for capital projects and the expansion of existing programming. We provide this service for CIHA as well as Cook Inlet Lending Center, which is a Native American Community Development Financial Institute (CDFI) and a subsidiary of CIHA.