Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Rachel
Alaska is one of the youngest states in the US having joined the union in 1959 and its population as well is younger than other states. The residents above 50 years are over a quarter-million which is equivalent to 31%, making it the third-lowest percentage in the country.
The Median income of senior-led households stands at $60,000 per year, making it the second highest in the country with those above 55 years still being in the workforce. Alaska’s life expectancy is 78 years. This state is the 2nd best paying state with the median household income of seniors above 65 years being $59,877 compared to the national average of $43,735. The percentage of seniors above 55 years who are in the labor force stands at 35.6% compared to the U.S. average of 40.80%.
What is the housing cost in Alaska? According to MERIC data for 2022, Alaska is ranked 6th highest state in terms of cost of living. The average consumption cost as per 2023 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis is $54,331 per year. Housing is quite expensive with rent for a one-bedroom unit costing $900 and a two-bedroom unit costs $1,254, According to Zillow, the average home value is $345,363, which has increased by 2.7% over the past year.
Because the state’s housing cost of living is high, state, government and local organizations have set up several programs to make housing more affordable and accessible to low and moderate income Alaskans.
Alaska Senior Living Options
These are senior living options available in Alaska
- Independent Living: This living option is most suitable for seniors who are healthy and active.
- Assisted Living: Assisted living communities provide a combination of housing and supportive services to seniors who need help with daily activities such as medication management, bathing, and dressing. Assisted living costs an average of $6,000 a month. Compared to other states in the U.S whose average cost ranges from $2,500 to $4,000 a month, Alaska is quite expensive.
- Memory Care: Memory care communities provide specialized care for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The average cost of memory care according to Medicare in the state is $4,915 to $10,875 per month. This amount is on the higher side when compared to the national average cost of $5,075 a month.
- Nursing Homes: Nursing homes offer activities like music therapy, art therapy, and others. Seniors in daycare get supervision, health screening, nutrition, and exercise. Seniors with dementia, stroke, PTSD, or brain tumor can benefit from adult day care in the state. The median monthly cost of nursing home care is $24,333 compared to other states whose cost does not exceed $10,000 a month.
- Respite Care: These facilities offer caregivers relief from exhaustion from taking care of the elderly. They provide both long-term and short-term care for seniors. The average cost per month ranges between $22,403 to $29,145.
- Home Health Care cost in Alaska amounts to about $5,000 a month, $1,000 higher than the national average.
- Adult Day Care cost is around $3, 642 a month.
State Housing Assistance for Seniors
The state provides several housing assistance programs for seniors who have low income and also those who are vulnerable and cannot be able to afford rent or housing costs.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) provides a range of affordable housing options, including rental assistance programs and energy efficiency programs. The AHFC also offers a Senior Citizen Housing Program, which provides subsidized rental units for low-income seniors. Alaska Senior Benefits Payment Program provides a monthly cash payment to low-income seniors who are age 65 or older and live in Alaska. The payment can be used to help cover the cost of housing, food, and other basic needs. Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (funded by the U.S. Department of Labor) provides job training and placement services to homeless veterans in Alaska. The program is designed to help veterans secure stable employment and access safe and affordable housing.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), funded by the federal government, provides financial assistance to low-income households in Alaska to help cover the cost of home energy expenses, including heating and cooling. The program is available to seniors and other vulnerable populations who meet income eligibility requirements. Senior Citizen Housing Program is offered by The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) which provides subsidized rental units for low-income seniors. The program is designed to help seniors access safe, affordable housing that is specifically tailored to their needs.
Rental Assistance for Seniors
With the high rate of rent in Alaska, there are rent assistance programs that seniors can get help from to be able to fund the cost of housing in Alaska.
Senior Benefits Program provides a monthly cash payment to low-income seniors who are age 65 or older and live in Alaska. The payment can be used to help cover the cost of rent and other basic needs. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance to eligible low-income households in Alaska. The program is administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) and helps seniors and other vulnerable populations afford safe and decent housing.
Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP) provides temporary cash assistance to low-income families and individuals in Alaska. The program may be able to help seniors who are struggling to afford rent due to temporary financial hardship. Community Action Agencies are local organizations that provide a variety of services to low-income individuals and families, including rent assistance. They may offer emergency rental assistance, help with security deposits, and other services that can help seniors stay in their homes. Tribal Housing Authorities are organizations that provide affordable housing and rental assistance to Native Americans and Alaska Natives. They may offer rental assistance, homebuyer assistance, and other housing-related services to eligible seniors
Home Repair Grants for Seniors
For seniors who need assistance with home repairs or renovations, several programs may provide grants or low-interest loans to help cover the costs.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) Home Energy Rebate Program offers a Home Energy Rebate Program that provides rebates for energy-efficient upgrades and repairs, including insulation, heating systems, and windows. The program is designed to help homeowners reduce their energy costs and improve the overall energy efficiency of their homes. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides grants to cities and communities in Alaska to support community development projects, including housing rehabilitation and repair. Homeowners should check with their local housing authority or community development agency to see if they offer CDBG-funded home repair programs.
Senior Access Program (SAP) program provides grants of up to $7,500 to eligible low-income seniors in Alaska to make home repairs that improve the overall safety and accessibility of their homes. The program is designed to help seniors age in place and maintain their independence. Alaska Weatherization Program provides free home energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners, including insulation, weather stripping, and other improvements that can help reduce energy costs and improve the overall comfort of the home.
The Housing Accessibility Modification Program (HAMP) provides grants to low-income homeowners in Alaska to make home modifications that improve accessibility for seniors or individuals with disabilities. Examples of eligible modifications include wheelchair ramps, grab bars, and wider doorways. The Senior Safety Program: The Senior Safety Program provides free safety upgrades to low-income seniors in Alaska, including handrails, smoke detectors, and other safety features. The program is designed to help seniors live independently and safely in their homes. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Home Repair and Modification Program provides low-interest loans to low-income seniors in Alaska to make home repairs and modifications that improve safety, accessibility, and mobility. The program is designed to help seniors age in place and maintain their independence.
Rural Alaska Village Grant Program: This program provides funding to rural Alaska communities for the development of affordable housing options. The program is designed to help seniors and other vulnerable populations access safe and decent housing in remote areas. The Tribal Energy Program provides grants to Alaska Native villages and tribes for energy projects, including home weatherization and energy efficiency improvements. Eligible homeowners can contact their local tribe or tribal housing authority to learn more about the program.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a federal program that provides low-interest loans to eligible low-income homeowners in Alaska to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The program can help seniors reduce their energy bills and improve the overall comfort of their living spaces.
Low-interest Loans for Housing for Seniors
The USDA offers low-interest home repair loans to low-income homeowners in rural areas of Alaska. USDA Rural Development Home Repair Loans have an interest rate of 1% to 3.5% and can be used to make repairs or improvements to a home. The Home Energy Rebate Program is available to low-income households in Alaska to help with the cost of energy efficiency upgrades. The program provides low-interest loans to eligible homeowners that can be used to make improvements such as insulation, weatherization, and heating system upgrades.
The USDA Rural Development Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants program provides low-interest loans to eligible low-income families, including seniors, to build their own homes through sweat equity. The program provides technical assistance to help families build their own homes and offers low-interest loans to finance the construction. The USDA Rural Development Section 502 Direct Loan Program provides low-interest loans to eligible low-income families, including seniors, to purchase or build a home in a rural area. The program offers flexible credit requirements and can finance up to 100% of the home’s value.
Housing Assistance from Local Organizations and Charities for Seniors
There are several organizations both local and charity that offer assistance
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services offers a range of programs and services to help low-income individuals and families access affordable housing and rental assistance. The department also offers programs to help seniors stay in their homes and maintain their independence. Cook Inlet Housing Authority is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing options for low-income individuals and families, including seniors. The organization offers a range of programs and services to help individuals and families find and maintain affordable housing.
The RuRal CAP Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers a range of programs and services to low-income individuals and families throughout Alaska. The organization provides rental assistance, home repair and modification assistance, and other services to help seniors and other low-income individuals maintain safe and affordable housing. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority provides funding for a range of programs and services to help individuals with mental health and developmental disabilities find and maintain safe and affordable housing.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium offers a range of services and programs to support the health and well-being of Alaska Native people, including access to safe and affordable housing options. The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness is a state-wide organization that works to address homelessness and improve access to affordable housing throughout Alaska. The organization provides a range of services, including rental assistance and support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
Legal Assistance for Eviction in Alaska
Seniors who are facing eviction or other related housing-related legal issues can get assistance from:
Alaska Legal Services Corporation is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income Alaskans, including assistance with eviction cases. They can provide legal advice, representation, and other support to help tenants facing eviction. Alaska Pro Bono Program is a state-wide organization that connects low-income individuals with volunteer attorneys who can provide free legal assistance. They can help tenants facing eviction understand their legal rights and options and represent them in court.
Alaska Public Defender Agency provides legal representation to individuals who are facing eviction and are unable to afford an attorney. They can help tenants defend themselves in court and negotiate with landlords to avoid eviction. Anchorage Equal Rights Commission is a local organization that provides legal assistance to tenants facing discrimination or harassment from their landlords. They can help tenants file complaints and represent them in legal proceedings.
Fair Housing Alaska is a non-profit organization that provides education, outreach, and advocacy to promote fair housing practices in Alaska. They can provide legal assistance and support to tenants who are facing discrimination or other housing-related issues. Native Village of Barrow Housing Authority is a local organization that provides a range of housing-related services to low-income individuals and families, including legal assistance for eviction cases. They can provide legal advice and representation to help tenants facing eviction. Alaska Native Justice Center is a non-profit organization that provides legal assistance and support to Alaska Native individuals and families, including assistance with eviction cases. They can provide legal advice, representation, and other support to help tenants facing eviction.
Alaska Department on Aging and Elder Services cater to all the needs of the elderly in this state. Please visit their website for more information and to learn more about benefits and assistance for housing and programs for the elderly.