Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/05/1995 08:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HOUSE BILL 309                                                               
                                                                               
       "An Act approving  the University of Alaska's  plans to                 
       enter into  long-term obligations to borrow  money from                 
       the  Alaska   Housing  Finance   Corporation  for   the                 
       acquisition   of   student   housing  facilities;   and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Martin spoke in support of HB 309.  He stated                 
  that  HB  309 was  in response  to  the current  shortage of                 
  student  housing  at  the  University  of  Alaska  statewide                 
                                                                               
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  system.  Specifically, the  University of Alaska,  Anchorage                 
  campus houses only  7% of  the full-time student  population                 
  compared to the national average ranging from 35-50% housing                 
  accommodation.  Coupled  with the  shortage, is the  limited                 
  housing  at  the  Juneau  campus  of University  of  Alaska,                 
  Southeast  (UAS), and  the  absence of  any  housing at  the                 
  Ketchikan campus.                                                            
                                                                               
  He added that  the University of  Alaska has the ability  to                 
  repay  the  principal  of  the  money borrowed  from  Alaska                 
  Housing Finance Committee (AHFC), although they cannot raise                 
  housing rates sufficient to pay market interest  rates.  The                 
  proposed legislation would solve that problem.                               
                                                                               
  WENDY   REDMAN,   VICE-PRESIDENT,    UNIVERSITY   RELATIONS,                 
  UNIVERSITY  OF ALASKA, noted  that the  proposed legislation                 
  was the culmination of several years discussion with AHFC in                 
  trying  to find an  appropriate way that  they could involve                 
  themselves with the University and the housing problem.  She                 
  pointed out that University students fall within the preview                 
  of the old Alaska State Housing Authority  (ASHA) portion of                 
  AHFC.                                                                        
                                                                               
  This legislation would allow  AHFC to go forward so  that it                 
  would be consistent  with their mission.   Ms. Redman  added                 
  that a proposal has been worked out that would allow AHFC to                 
  go forward with  the University providing the  debt service.                 
  The  legislation would require AHFC  to let 3% revenue bonds                 
  to help with the housing interest  rate subsidy.  Ms. Redman                 
  emphasized  that AHFC from  the very  beginning has  made it                 
  clear to the University  that unless HB 281 is  also passed,                 
  AHFC will not be in a position to help the University.                       
                                                                               
  She continued that passage of  the legislation would provide                 
  to the Anchorage area a total of six hundred new beds plus a                 
  commons  facility  for eating.    She referenced  the Juneau                 
  area, noting the  less than .5%  vacancy rate, pointing  out                 
  how restricted housing is  for incoming student.                             
                                                                               
  HB 309 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         

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