AHFC 50th Anniversary

1970-07-01 00:00:00

As Time Goes By...

Introduction by AHFC CEO/Executive Director, Bryan Butcher, and former Madame Board Chair, Jewel Jones.

1971-05-26 00:00:00

The Beginning

Alaskans have had greater access to safe, quality, affordable housing for the past 50 years since Governor William A. Egan and the legislature created Alaska Housing Finance Corporation on May 26, 1971. AHFC was established in law as a public corporation with a legal existence independent of the state to provide residents with affordable housing.

1971-09-01 00:00:00

The Big Explosion

Atomic Energy Commission explodes 5-megaton nuclear bomb beneath Amchitka Island, the largest underground test ever conducted by the US. Three underground tests were conducted on the uninhabited island in the Aleutians between 1965 and 1971.

1971-12-18 07:30:16

Justice for Alaska Natives

On Dec. 18, 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed, resolving long-standing issues surrounding aboriginal land claims in Alaska, creating 13 Alaska Native regional corporations and more than 200 local village corporations. From an initial grant of 44 million acres of land and $963 million in cash, the corporations have matured into some of Alaska’s largest businesses.

1972-05-01 00:00:00

High-Rise in Juneau

“Small scale operation” were key words attributed to AHFC in the early years. Ten employees managed to put together a mortgage portfolio worth $10.2 million with one exciting big project – financing Marine View in Juneau, a nine story high-rise building with 98 affordable units.

1973-06-01 00:00:00

The First Iditarod

After almost three weeks on the trail, Red Devil’s Dick Willmarth wins the inaugural 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Twenty-two mushers completed the race.

1973-09-01 00:00:00

Bonding with Wall Street

AHFC isn’t a bank. AHFC is an investor that buys mortgages from lenders, and issues bonds backed by those mortgages. AHFC's bonds are purchased by big Wall Street operators.

1974-08-01 00:00:00

Welcome Help from Congress

Housing Choice Vouchers, created by Congress in 1974, are essential for many Alaskan families with an income at or below 50% of the area median income. Federally funded rental assistance makes it possible for low-income Alaskans to rent from private sector property owners.

1974-09-01 00:00:00

Pipeline Gets Under Way

Construction of the 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System begins and lasts 39 months. It cost a total of $8 billion and included the Marine Terminal in Valdez.

1975-08-01 00:00:00

A New Look

During the first few years, AHFC did business without a logo, but that changed in 1975. The back cover of the striking black and white annual report donned a logotype somewhat inspired by the Alaska State Housing Authority’s trademark.

1976-09-01 00:00:00

Birth of the Permanent Fund

By a margin of 75,588 to 38,518, Alaskan voters approved a Constitutional Amendment establishing the Alaska Permanent Fund. Four years later, with Commissioner of Revenue Hugh Malone attending, Gov. Jay Hammond signed legislation creating the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.

1976-12-01 00:00:00

Oil Crisis Leads to Energy Savings

Federally funded Weatherization Assistance was born out of the oil crisis that occurred in 1973. Energy conservation became one of the nation’s top priorities, and Weatherization has become one of the most successful federal programs for advancing an energy-efficient economy.

1977-09-01 00:00:00

What to do With the Oil Money?

On February 28, the Permanent Fund receives its first deposit of dedicated oil revenues totaling $734,000. The Legislature begins four years of public discussions regarding whether the Permanent Fund should be managed as an investment fund or as an economic development bank.

1979-08-01 00:00:00

Stuart Strikes Gold in Utqiagvik

Today about 17% of Alaska Housing’s loan portfolio is comprised of rural loans. “I must have been one of the first ones getting a rural loan,” says Stuart Johnson, who bought a house in the community then named Barrow, in 1979, the year AHFC established its General Insured Rural Mortgage program.

1980-09-01 00:00:00

PFD Unconstitutional?

Alaska Legislature repeals state income tax and votes to deposit $900 million in surplus oil revenues in the Permanent Fund. U.S. Supreme Court rules first Permanent Fund Dividend program unconstitutional because individual dividend payments varied based on length of residency.

1981-08-10 21:25:08

Start of the Boom Years

The early ‘80s were boom years for AHFC. Much of the growth had to do with the Alaska legislature easing up on regulations. One example allowed AHFC to finance owner-occupied triplexes and fourplexes, and also for the creation of new programs. As a result, AHFC’s mortgage portfolio increased from 20,351 loans in 1980 to a peak of 53,121 loans valued at $4.6 billion in 1986.

1982-09-01 00:00:00

The First PFD

The first Permanent Fund Dividend check of $1,000 was distributed. The Legislature paid the dividend from surplus oil revenues.

1982-12-29 16:55:50

Taking Care of Veterans

Voters pave the way for Alaska's Veterans Mortgage program (VMP) by passing a $400 million bond authorization in November. The program launched in February 1983, and today, thousands of Alaskan Veterans have taken advantage of VMP’s lower interest rates. Close to 4% of AHFC’s mortgages come from the Veterans Mortgage program.

1984-08-25 07:32:19

Olympic Gold for Kris Thorsness and Alaska

Kris Thorsness of Anchorage, middle, wins Alaska’s first Olympic gold in women’s eight rowing. With her are teammates Kathy Keeler, left, and Kristi Norelius, right.

1985-08-30 06:31:09

Libby’s Historic Win

Libby Riddles, a virtually unknown musher from Teller, Alaska, braved a storm that no other musher challenged. She became the first woman to win the Iditarod, the world’s most significant sled dog race.

1986-01-18 00:49:01

All-Time High for AHFC

A stellar year for AHFC. The mortgage portfolio hit an all-time high with 53,121 loans worth $4.6 billion. A record of $1.3 billion in bonds were issued.

1986-09-19 00:49:01

Assumable Loans?

There are several upsides to AHFC home loans. One being that some loans are assumable, made possible in 1986 by a regulation change.

1986-12-02 15:12:46

First of Four for Susan

Susan Butcher wins her first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race, on her way to becoming a four-time winner.

1987-03-24 12:58:42

The Bust is Coming!

After several years of rapid growth, the Alaska economy started to retract.

1987-08-01 00:00:00

Glacier Park in Ketchikan Starts a Trend

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit program enters Alaska, administered by Alaska State Housing Authority (ASHA). Glacier Park in Ketchikan was the first property funded, making 22 units available for seniors. In 2016, a rehabilitation expanded the units to 44.

1988-01-18 09:46:35

No Mountain High Enough for Tejas

Vern Tejas becomes first person to complete a solo winter ascent of Denali. Tejas summited the mountain 54 times.

1988-02-14 17:18:51

First Loss for AHFC

The Alaskan economy continued to struggle and AHFC recorded its first net loss totaling $12.6 million.

1988-09-03 00:00:00

Record Oil Production

North Slope oil production peaks at 2,032,928 barrels per day.

1988-09-04 06:26:30

Congress Beefs Up ANSCA

Congress passes amendments to Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act addressing provisions relating to the sale of stock, exemption from federal securities laws and the expansion of eligibility of shareholders, all aimed at keeping the ANC's Native-owned.

1989-09-03 05:59:39

Red Dog Mine Opens

One of the world’s largest zinc mines, Red Dog Mine, begins production in the DeLong Mountains 82 miles north of Kotzebue on land owned by NANA Regional Corporation.

1989-09-04 09:14:06

Another Bust Year

The economic crises peaks and AHFC isn’t immune. The corporation recorded losses for the second year in a row totaling $124 million. Refinances through the Homeowners’ Assistance program reached 6,000 and forced AHFC to hire 74 new staff to handle the workload. In three years, the value of the mortgage portfolio decreased more than $1 billion.

1989-09-30 14:36:43

Super Bowl Mark

Washington Redskins draft Anchorage football standout Mark Schlereth who goes on to win three Super Bowl championships.

1989-10-03 13:26:28

Prince William Sound Disaster

The Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground in Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil. The oil spreads far beyond Bligh Reef, killing more than a quarter of a million seabirds in Cook Inlet before moving along the coast of Kodiak and onto the Alaska Peninsula, 460 miles. to the south.

1990-06-12 04:53:38

Back in Black

AHFC let out a sigh of relief entering the ‘90s. The real estate market began a slow comeback, and the foreclosure rate came down to 120 properties per month off its high of 230. AHFC returned to profitability with net earnings of $34.3 million.

1990-10-02 11:31:07

Hickel Takes Office

Self-made businessman Walter Hickel, who served as Alaska’s second governor, becomes Alaska’s eighth governor by running on the Alaska Independence Party ticket with Jack Coghill.

1991-05-26 07:38:52

The “Alaska Assassin”

The Cleveland Cavaliers pick Trajan Langdon, the “Alaska Assassin,” as their first-round choice in the NBA draft. Trajan, who attended Steller and East Anchorage High School, was a star guard at Duke before spending three years in the NBA. He was named General Manager of the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.

1991-12-27 01:51:02

Cash Cow for the State

Big milestone! AHFC’s Board of Directors approved a dividend plan for payouts to the State. In its first year, $17.1 million was set aside for use by the State. Through the years, AHFC’s dividends exceed $2.1 billion – nearly double the state’s initial investment.

1992-09-04 15:26:59

Not the Road to Nowhere

Alaska Highway celebrates its 50th birthday. Here highway engineers use a portable sawmill to make lumber for bridges and culverts.

1992-09-05 21:05:53

Housing Shake-Up

The Legislature decides to consolidate its housing resources by merging Alaska State Housing Authority (ASHA) and the Housing Assistance Division of the Department of Community & Regional Affairs (DCRA) with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

1992-09-06 18:29:55

Gold, Silver and Bronze for Hilary

Hilary Lindh, who grew up skiing at Juneau’s Eaglecrest, wins Olympic silver in the downhill at Albertville, France. Hilary earned a spot on the U.S. Ski Team at 15 and spent the next 13 years racing.

1992-12-04 10:41:16

BEES Starts Buzzing

AHFC introduces the Building Energy Efficiency Standard to promote the construction of energy efficient buildings. The standard sets building energy use standards for thermal resistance, air leakage, moisture protection and ventilation.

1992-12-06 18:44:15

The Last Refinery

Petro Star builds its Valdez refinery, the last all-new refinery in the U.S.

1994-05-06 08:15:49

New Step to Happy Homeownership

Robert M. Pickett created HomeChoice™, AHFC’s free homebuyer education class. Popularity has soared and more than 60,000 Alaskans have taken what has become the most popular and credible class in the state for learning about the home buying process. Here are some of the hundreds of comments shared with AHFC throughout the years:

1994-09-05 06:56:52

Olympic Glory for Tommy

Tommy Moe, who was raised in the MatSu and trained in Girdwood, becomes first American skier to win Olympic gold in the downhill and silver in the super-G at Lillehammer. Here he celebrates his historic win with Hillary Clinton.

1995-04-25 21:14:00

Hard Charging Duo

Two key people join AHFC: Daniel R. Fauske as CEO/Executive Director, and Jewel Jones becoming the first and only woman serving as Board Chair, a position she held for eight years until 2003. The duo was instrumental in AHFC’s future successes.

1995-09-05 06:48:54

ANSEP Receives High Praise from Harvard

Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder introduces the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program at UAA. What began as a scholarship for a single student has evolved into a longitudinal program that now has more than 2,500 students and alumni in its pipeline.

1996-09-29 19:55:31

Mega-Fire Hits Mat-Su Valley

The Miller Reach Fire in the Wasilla/Big Lake area burns through 37,500 acres and destroys 344 buildings. Through grants and an Emergency Reconstruction Loan, AHFC assists 100 families with getting back into housing.

1997-03-12 11:00:06

Smart Deal Downtown Anchorage

Financing the purchase of the Atwood Building, formerly Bank of America building, in Anchorage, served two purposes: 1) It provided office space for various state agencies and save the State an estimated $100 million; 2) It made it possible to create enough space for future construction of the 200,000 square foot Dena’ina Convention Center.

1997-12-03 23:49:07

AKWarm - Cool Database

With energy efficiency in focus, AHFC’s Research and Rural Development department creates and releases AkWarm, an energy rating and weatherization assessment tool.

1998-09-01 15:05:36

Denali Commission Formed

Under Sen. Ted Stevens’ guidance, Congress establishes the Denali Commission to provide critical infrastructure to rural Alaska, including water and sewage systems, power generation, and modern communication systems.

AHFC 50th Anniversary

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