October 27, 2011 |

Chilkoot housing ribbon-cutting Friday

A ribbon-cutting and open house are set for 11 a.m. Friday at Chilkoot Estates subdivision, where tenants will move into eight apartment units beginning next month.

Mary Gross, housing coordinator for developer Chilkoot Indian Association, said all the units are taken, and tenants for six of them are ready to move in. The two-bedroom apartments are contained in two four-plexes that feature a wood-pellet heat system.

"People can take a look at our pellet-burning boiler. It’s impressive. The buildings are nice. They’re tight and they have air circulating systems, which are good for people with airborne allergies," Gross said.

Residents also can tour three houses that are under construction that should be sold and occupied next year, Gross said.

"We hope to have people applying and pre-qualified by the first of the (new) year. We have quite a few applicants. We’re still trying to figure out what services we can help them with to maximize their ability to get in there," she said.

The houses aren’t yet finished, Gross said. "But it’s nice to go in and look at their size. They look smaller than they really are. There’s a lot of space in them and a lot of space in the garage."

Crews were out this week putting finishing touches, including wiring street lights. The Haines Borough was scheduled to take control of the subdivision’s roads and utilities this week during a public right-of-way dedication.

The subdivision lies between Major Road and East Fair Drive. The final plat of the first phase of the project was approved by the Haines Borough Planning Commission recently.

Construction started in 2009 after the Haines-based tribe determined local housing was a major concern for its members. There is a Native preference for openings in the subdivision.

All the apartment tenants either live in the Chilkat Valley or are from here, Gross said.