For Immediate Release
Contact: Cassandra Stalzer, 907-334-0520
Anchorage, AK – Ensuring that Alaskans have safe, affordable and appropriate housing was a significant theme during yesterday’s bi-annual Rasmuson Foundation Board of Directors meeting. In total the Board awarded $5.8 million in grants, program-related investments (PRIs) and initiative funding. Nearly 73 percent of the awards are to partners and projects that house senior, homeless, special needs, or low income Alaska families.
The organizations and projects receiving funds are:
• Rural Alaska Community Action Program will receive $375,000 and a loan of $560,000 to finance and build Safe Harbor Village, 23 units of new, permanent workforce housing.
• Rural Alaska Community Action Program will receive $475,000 to construct a Housing First project in downtown Anchorage. The Housing First facility is a $6.4 million supportive housing facility for chronically homeless individuals.
• Retirement Community of Fairbanks will receive $125,000 to support a new apartment building at Raven Landing. The new building is the fourth and final phase of apartment buildings that make up the Raven Landing Senior Community retirement complex in Fairbanks.
• Authorization of up to $1.7 million in capital grants for housing projects. The Foundation has been partnering with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) since 2011 to provide capital grants side-by-side with its highly competitive annual award process to support and enhance housing supply. AHFC will determine which of six projects will receive the grants.
• Volunteers of America National Services (VOANS), in partnership with Volunteers of America Alaska (VOA AK), will receive a loan of $1 million to finance activities related to the planning, acquisition and construction of housing projects in Alaska.
• Blood Bank of Alaska will receive $500,000 to build a new facility in Anchorage. The Foundation grant will pay for fixtures, furnishings and equipment.
• Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority will receive $221,000 to expand and renovate the Kake Senior Center.
• Hydaburg Cooperative Association will receive $400,000 to support construction of a traditional long house to serve as a multi-purpose building. Foundation funds will be used for materials, labor and mechanical systems.
• Native Village of Ruby will receive $200,000 toward construction of a multi-purpose facility to provide dedicated behavioral health and social services. Foundation funds will be used for engineering, administration, general conditions, and finishes.
• Alaska Community Foundation will receive a $250,000 working capital fund for use by its new CEO, Nina Kemppel.
This announcement brings the total amount of funds awarded since the Foundation’s first grant 60 years ago to more than $318 million.
Celebrating 60 Years
Following the board meeting, the Foundation hosted 120 guests (current and former board members, staff, and partners) in a dinner event celebrating its 60th Anniversary at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.
The Foundation got its start when Jenny Olson Rasmuson invested $3,500 in a fund at National Bank of Alaska to commemorate the memory of her husband, E.A. Over time, the estates of Jenny, Elmer and Mary Louise Rasmuson and healthy investments would grow the Foundation’s assets to $655 million, making it one of the top five largest family foundations in the Pacific Northwest.
Eight of the Foundation’s 14 board members are descendants of Jenny and E.A. Rasmuson.
About the Foundation
Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.