FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Officials in Alaska are preparing for a possible housing crunch in 2020 that is expected to coincide with an influx of service members tied to the two new F-35 squadrons coming to Eielson Air Force Base.
An F-35 Lightning II flies around the airspace of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 5, 2016.
Photo Credit: Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro/Air Force
Military and local officials are working together to build interest from developers and investors, especially from North Pole to an area between Salcha and Harding Lake.
The Fairbanks Economic Development Corp. is hosting a Housing Summit on March 9 for builders, bankers and local officials. Corporation president Jim Dodson says the summit will provide information on Air Force needs, available land and possible bank loans.
"Make it easy. That is the idea," Dodson said.
Cole said the military is not currently planning to add housing at Eielson. Eielson's has 900 housing units, 800 of which are full with roughly 100 more under renovation.
North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward said he hopes the growth from Eielson boosts the economy for the 2,200-resident community.
"They need places to eat. They need places to shop," Ward said. "It is definitely an economic opportunity and one we are definitely excited about."