August 29, 2018

Hoeven: We Must Work To Find Housing Solutions For Rural Communities

SAVOONGA, AK – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today recognized Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for the oversight field hearing she led entitled “Overcrowded Housing and the Impacts on American Indian and Alaska Natives.”

“I thank Senator Murkowksi for making this field hearing happen,” Hoeven said. “Accessing rural parts of Alaska, like Savoonga, is difficult, at best. The high costs of transporting materials and overall lack of housing have led to staggering levels of overcrowding in Alaska’s remote Native villages. This overcrowding has serious implications upon the health and quality of life of citizens residing in these areas. I appreciate Senator Murkowski’s leadership on this important issue and look forward to working alongside her and other members of the Committee to address overcrowding.”

Watch Senator Murkowski’s full remarks here.

“The overcrowding rate in the Bering Strait region is one of the highest in the state of Alaska, with an estimated 27 percent of households being classified as overcrowded or severely overcrowded,” Murkowski said. “That’s more than 4.3 times the state-wide average and more than 8.3 times the national average. It is not uncommon for a household in rural Alaska to have multiple generations or multiple families living in them. “I think it is important to point out that overcrowding in Indian Country is often the expression of what is actually homelessness, with families taking in relatives or community members who otherwise could not find affordable housing options. I thank all who helped make this one-of-a-kind hearing possible.”