"An Act relating to the teachers' housing loan program in the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation; and providing for an effective date."
"This loan program could be one step in Alaska's recruitment/retention toolbox."
- Rep. Rokeberg
HB 117 establishes a teacher's housing loan program within the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) for teachers, counselors, and administrators who are required to be certificated. The loan may be used only for owner-occupied housing purchased with no down payment.
I have long been concerned that our educators are having problems in purchasing homes in Alaska. One way to encourage retention of education professionals is to encourage them to put down roots and remain in communities where they teach. This loan program would be one small step for any teachers, counselors and administrators who reside in an area in which housing is available. My hope is that more housing opportunities will be developed for those teaching in rural areas of the state and that this program can be utilized in our rural communities.
Our local school district, in its 2002 legislative priorities, has indicated that teacher and administrator recruitment and retention are important. According to information supplied by the Anchorage School District, only 30% of our teachers come from Alaskan colleges and universities. The remainder come from outside and the national shortage of teachers is causing great competition for teachers. Other states are offering teacher signing bonuses, down payments on homes, mortgage subsidies, and other benefits. This loan program could be one step in Alaska's recruitment/retention toolbox.