Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Crane crews unhook a 25,000 gallon tank after placing it in a hole outside the Cold Climate Housing Research Center on Wednesday morning, Oct. 16, 2013, on the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The center plans to use the tank as a solar battery, storing energy from solar arrays to use for heat through the winter.

The Rasmuson Foundation board of directors has approved nearly half a million dollars in financial support for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks.

The center, which recently announced it will be partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, will receive up to $200,000 in a low-cost loan to bridge any financial gaps it encounters during the reorganization. In addition, the center’s Research and Testing Facility will receive $250,000 for repairs and upgrades.

The financial support will be a boon to the CCHRC, which lost its $750,000 core function budget after Gov. Dunleavy’s 2019 line-item veto zeroed out all state funding for the organization.

The CCHRC is one of nine organizations chosen to receive a total of $2.8 million in grants and investments from the foundation through its Tier 2 grant program. According to news release issued Friday, the foundation is working to support critical work and timely projects despite impacts to its assets due to disruptions in financial markets. The board committed $2 million to specifically address the pandemic earlier this year, redirected some investments to focus on COVID-19 response and have paused routine applications for it’s smaller, Tier 1 grant program.

“We are pleased to support Alaska nonprofits for these important projects that truly improve life in Alaska,” said Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president and CEO. “Organizations are finding ways even in trying times to meet needs, to survive financially and to partner with others in areas from healthcare to housing. We applaud all who are doing so much to adapt to our new normal.”

In addition to the $450,000 awarded to CCHRC, the foundation board also approved funding for the following organizations.

• $200,000 to the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership, a statewide nonprofit network of health care providers, public health leaders and community groups.

• $300,000 to Alaska Behavioral Health in Anchorage to help purchase and renovate a building.

• $400,000 to Camp Fire Alaska to help expand Camp K in Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula.

• $196,683 to Cook Inlet Native Head Start to help equip a new facility in Anchorage.

• $350,000 to Valley Residential Services to support construction of a 22-unit housing development in Wasilla.

• $200,000 to Women In Safe Homes to help renovate the former Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility into a domestic violence emergency shelter.

• $200,000 to Chief Seattle Club to support development of a nine-story multi-use building in Seattle to serve people experiencing homelessness.

• A $460,000 low-cost loan to Swell, LLC to support development of a 15-unit workforce housing development in Petersburg.

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her at