Tanana Chiefs Conference opens Housing First Facility

FAIRBANKS, Ak - With little public fanfare, the Tanana Chiefs Conference has officially opened the doors to its new Housing First Facility.

The 47 unit former hotel provides stable housing to the chronic inebriate homeless.

A select number of tenants have already moved into the facility with more to be added in a deliberately slow pace as tenants get accustomed to the facility and to each other.

Tenants are responsible for 30 % of the rent while the remaining amount is paid through housing vouchers and other sources.

The Housing First Facility operates under the belief that, once housed, tenants reduce their drinking and begin to address their substance abuse and mental health issues, thereby easing public costs for crisis emergency services.

Program officials say they are already noticing a change in tenants and will monitor the program's success.

"Part of what we are planning on doing is a formal evaluation process so that at the end of the first year of operations we can document what the impact was on the community," said Housing First Director, Shirley Lee.