In December 2015 the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), through its contractor Arcadis, subcontracted with Northern Economics, Inc. to survey and assess the housing attitudes and preferences of current YKHC employees in preparation for an upcoming Indian Health Service-approved expansion of the hospital.
The project’s goals included documenting Bethel’s socioeconomic make-up and housing market characteristics; assessing how YKHC employees feel about their current housing situation; understanding how YKHC employees rank various housing attributes with regards to desirability; capturing YKHC employees’ attitudes about housing in Bethel and how it affects their employment with YKHC; and determining how employees trade-off and value housing attributes.
NEI’s tasks included a site visit to Bethel, Alaska; a review of publicly available data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Alaska Multiple Listing Service; a series of key informant interviews with realtors, YKHC administrators, and others; and the design and administration of an online survey; and cleaning and analysis of the survey data including statistical modeling. The study team pre-tested the survey before launching and then made it available to all YKHC staff members in the Bethel area. The survey achieved a response rate of over 37 percent with slightly more than 300 responses out of a survey population of roughly 800.