The housing shortage is an everyone problem




The housing shortage is an everyone problem. Local businesses, like Writer’s Block, are impacted when employees can’t find housing nearby. Real data from real people and real rental prices tells the story.

The reality is that a person making minimum wage, or $10.85 per hour, would have to work 74 hours per week to afford a 1 bedroom apartment in Anchorage.

Thanks to private/public partnerships, recent hotel conversions have quickly added hundreds of units to supplement Anchorage’s affordable housing stock. Last week, the former Golden Lion opened as low-income housing. This month, the former Barratt Inn will open to extremely-low income tenants for only $800 per month with no credit check and no money down.

Our city needs more housing, especially housing that is affordable to community members across all economic backgrounds, and the Assembly is at work alongside housing experts, developers an​d the residents of Anchorage to act today for better housing tomorrow.

Coming off a year of record hotel demand, Anchorage’s 2023 tourism outlook is promising

Tourism in Anchorage rebounded strongly last year as pandemic impacts continue to fade, with strong hotel demand helping to sharply boost municipal income from lodging and car rental taxes, according to a report by Visit Anchorage.


4 Alaskans nominated for prestigious James Beard Awards [Alaska News Source]

Alaskans are once again making their presence known on the national culinary scene, with three chefs and one restaurateur receiving James Beard Foundation Award nominations last week. READ MORE & WATCH THE VIDEO…


Congratulations to these Alaska chefs and restauranteur!

  • Laile Fairbairn, Locally Grown Restaurants (Snow City Cafe, South Restaurant + Coffeehouse, and Spenard Roadhouse), Anchorage, AK
  • Nathan Bentley, Altura Bistro, Anchorage, AK
  • Beau Schooler, In Bocca Al Lupo, Juneau, AK
  • Renee Trafton, Beak Restaurant, Sitka, AK

Anchorage Hospitality Businesses Double Down on COVID-19 Safety Measures

A new campaign outlines the efforts of local hospitality industry

Anchorage, Alaska (July 8, 2020). Alaska Hospitality Retailers (AKHR) announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign highlighting how Anchorage restaurants and bars are addressing the health and safety of Alaskans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign consists of a video compilation of interviews with members of the hospitality industry with a call to action for Alaskans to do their part to support their local economy safely.

WATCH: 30-Second Spot

WATCH: 15-second Spot


“We understand that this virus isn’t going away in the near future,” said Silvia Villamides, Executive Director of AKHR. “Now is the time to take action and personal responsibility.”

The campaign, #AlaskaTogether, will launch the week of July 13, 2020 with the video and a social media blitz. Alaskans can download a Tip Sheet from the Alaska Hospitality Retailers website at on the best ways to stay safe while frequenting local businesses.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide, the Alaska hospitality industry is taking the health threat seriously and encouraging their staff and customers to do the same. Some of the ways establishments are already putting safety first is by requiring face coverings, reducing or eliminating dancing and bands, turning down music to reduce the need to stand closely for conversation, limiting occupancies, increasing outdoor seating, and instituting earlier closing hours to help keep patrons focused on social distancing.

AKHR and its members are using the new campaign to encourage residents to continue to frequent local restaurants and bars with care and awareness.

“It’s the Alaskan way to keep our families safe and to look out for our neighbors,” Villamides said. “Life in Alaska can be challenging in any situation, and Alaskans are used to improvising, innovating, and thriving with an indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.”

A few ways Alaskans can take action include having Personal Protective Equipment including masks or face coverings and hand sanitizer on hand and wearing masks when entering public places. They should also maintain sufficient distance from anyone who is not part of their immediate household. If they forget their own safety supplies at home, they can keep themselves and others safe by accepting protective equipment from businesses that offer them. More tips will be available on the #AlaskaTogether Tip Sheet.

For more information about the campaign and interviews with industry spokespeople, contact:

About Alaska Hospitality Retailers:
The Alaska Hospitality Retailers represents Alaska’s largest private sector of employers within the hospitality, tourism, and food service industries.

Mayor’s Corner: Emergency Order EO-06

ANCHORAGE — Today Mayor Berkowitz issued Emergency Order EO-06, which updates and extends previous emergency orders. Emergency Order EO-06 includes an updated version of the Hunker Down Order (EO-03), and extends the order to 11:59 p.m. on May 5. Emergency Order EO-02, which preserved personal protective equipment (PPE) and prohibited certain non-urgent medical procedures, is extended until 11:59 p.m. on April 19, at which time it will be updated with a new order that allows for many elective medical procedures to resume. Emergency Order EO-04, which waived bag fees, is extended until 11:59 p.m. on June 5, and now also allows businesses to temporarily provide customers with plastic bags.

Public health experts advise that COVID-19 continues to pose a significant risk to the health and safety of Anchorage residents. The virus still spreads easily from person to person, and causes significant health complications and even death among a relatively high number of patients. Immediately removing physical distancing restrictions would likely result in a surge of COVID-19 cases that overwhelms Anchorage’s expanded health care capacity.

The Municipality and health care providers have made progress in preparing for and slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Municipality has increased its contact tracing capacity, collected PPE, and worked with the State and hospitals to increase hospital bed availability. Evidence suggests that by staying at home as much as possible, Anchorage residents are flattening the curve.

Recognizing the progress that has been made, the new order begins the process of easing restrictions. The temporary moratorium on elective procedures successfully increased the supply of PPE available to health care workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the Municipality is working in coordination with the State to allow for many elective medical procedures to resume.

Further loosening of restrictions will require Anchorage to have robust capacity to test residents, conduct contact tracing, and treat patients. The Municipality is working with public health experts to develop and implement a strategy to loosen restrictions in a manner that is safe and timely.

“Anchorage has done a great job responding to this crisis” said Mayor Berkowitz. “We hunkered down and are saving lives. Our work is not done; the virus is still out there. But we know that if we stay disciplined and maintain physical distancing and good hygiene, we will be able to keep easing restrictions and continue reopening the economy.”

The Hunker Down order includes updated guidance for businesses and individuals. The order:

  • Prohibits businesses from knowingly permitting symptomatic employees or others likely to be contagious with COVID-19 from working outside the home.
  • Mandates that businesses must allow and shall strongly encourage employees to wear cloth face-coverings or masks when around the public or in close proximity to other employees. The order strongly encourages individuals to wear a cloth face-covering or mask whenever in public.
  • Allows up to two people to be inside a non-critical business that is closed to the public for the purposes of essential upkeep, site maintenance, performing payroll, or facilitating remote business operations or online order fulfillment through email or physical mail, assuming proper physical distancing measures can be accomplished. Non critical businesses may not operate via curbside or delivery service model at this time.
  • Clarifies that farmer’s markets, food trucks, and landscapers are critical businesses.
  • Allows sewing, quilting, and fabric stores to open for curbside pick-up and delivery.
  • Updates the order to apply to everyone in Anchorage by mandating that everyone stay home as much as possible, and that home may include a residence, a temporary residence, or a shelter.

Emergency Order EO-04 allows businesses to temporarily provide customers with plastic bags because the pandemic has limited the supply of paper bags available to some critical businesses.