Types of Housing Available in Alaska

There’s one question that everyone asks themselves when they’re thinking about moving somewhere for a job: “Where am I going to live?”

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  • In Alaska, the options for housing are plentiful. Some are traditional, and others a little more adventurous, but we can guarantee you’ll find a roof over your head and a dwelling that suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle.

    Here’s a look at the most common types of housing in Alaska.

    Dry Cabins

    Dry cabins aren’t something you hear much about in the Lower 48. But up here, dry cabins are a way of life for many.

    A dry cabin is typically a small dwelling that isn’t hooked up to a water or sewer line. That means they’re easy to erect in the wilderness—what Alaskans affectionately call “the bush”—but it also means you’re missing a few of modern life’s biggest amenities. Some have electricity, some don’t, but no dry cabin has running water or a flush toilet.

    This might sound impossible, but for many, it’s preferable! Your cost of living is low, and because you don’t need to be near a water main your dry cabin is usually located in a remote, undeveloped area. If you want to live simply and naturally, but you still want to enjoy the comfort and security of four walls and a roof, living in a dry cabin could be perfect for you.

    Apartment Sublets

    Of course, Alaska is still the first world. If you’re accustomed to living in a fully plumbed and wired home, there are plenty of apartment sublets available for the summer in metropolitan areas.

    Check the local papers for listings, or even signboards in public places. Craigslist is also always a good bet, especially if you’re trying to arrange housing before you arrive. Be very wary of scammers, and never send someone money before you’ve signed a lease and investigated the reputation of the property and landlord.

    Apartments are typically the most expensive option, but for some people, the rewards of a private, comfortable home outweigh the costs. One way to cut down on costs is by finding an apartment that’s already furnished.

    Many seasonal apartments come furnished in Alaska, which means you don’t have to purchase your own living supplies. “Furnishing” involves a lot more than just furniture, after all. If you can find a place that provides dishes, cookware, and bedding, you’ll have a much easier (and less expensive) transition to your new Alaskan home.

    Workforce Housing

    Some employers offer the option to live in housing camps specifically dedicated to employee housing. Workforce housing can be very different camp to camp.

    At Alaska Tour Jobs, we offer employee housing options at many of our job locations. These sites are typically dormitory-style housing. Most units are setup to accommodate pairs of roommates. If you’re coming to Alaska with a friend, you can make arrangements to bunk together, or you can leave it to us to pair you with a new companion. Our workforce housing provides laundry facilities, WiFi, running water, common areas, and shuttles to and from the place of employment.

    RV or Campervan

    Interested in living in an RV or campervan? You’ll probably want to buy your “home on wheels” in the Lower 48 and drive it northward when your job starts. It’s more expensive to find one in Alaska, and you’ll have a more limited selection. Typically, RVs are inhabited by their owner. You might be able to come across a rental situation, but if your heart is set on RV living, BYO-camper.

    Campers and RVs are even more common than dry cabins in Alaska. If you’re wondering, there are lots of places to park RVs in Alaska, including private land, campgrounds, RV parks, and even public schools!