Houston

Best Places to Live in Houston, Alaska

Houston is a town in Alaska with a population of 1,739. Houston is in Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Living in Houston offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. Many families live in Houston. The public schools in Houston are above average.

Regional center - At the head of Cook Inlet in extreme south-central Alaska.

State: Alaska
County: Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Metro Area: Anchorage Metro Area
City: Houston

Zip Codes: 99694
Cost of Living: 5.6% higher
Time zone: Alaska Standard Time (AST)
Elevation: 132 ft above sea level

Real Estate

Crime and Safety

Based on violent and property crime rates.

Residents

B+ based on ethnic and economic diversity.

The City of Houston is located on the George Parks Highway along the Little Susitna River. Houston is 18 miles north-west of Wasilla and 57 road miles north of Anchorage. The area encompasses 22.4 sq. miles of land and 1.2 sq. miles of water.

 

The City of Houston (Houston) was incorporated in 1966 as a third-class city and re-classified as a second-class city in 1973.  Houston's estimated population in 2008 was 2,018 which is more than double from the recorded 697 residents in 1990. 

 

The City's origins are due to the use of Herning Trail (now Willow Creek Sled Trail) for freighting supplies to the Willow Creek Mining District.  "Houston Siding" was first listed on a blueprint map of the Alaska Railroad in 1917; it was named after Congressman Houston of Tennessee and the name endured for the area.

 

Several coal mines were developed in the area during 1917-18. A railroad spur was constructed to the Janios & Athens Coal Mine which supplied coal to Anchorage and the LaTouche Mining Co. in Prince William Sound.  The quality of the coal found in Houston was used extensively by the U.S. Navy through World War II after which the mines shut down. In the mid-1920s, the Heaven brothers operated a mink farm at mile 59.6. In 1953-54, gravel roads and power lines were extended west of Wasilla and Houston was quickly settled. 

 

In 1998 tests were conducted for the availability, quantity and quality of natural gas in the area. Huge deposits of shallow (less than 5000 feet), coal-bed methane were discovered. The wells were capped due to local restrictions and a lack of marketing.  Discussions of  utilizing the gas to sell through Enstar or sell it to MEA for a gas-fired electrical generation plant were unsuccessful.  MEA had already entered into an agreement to buy all of its power from Chugach Electric Association.

 

Popular recreation sites include the Little Su Campground, Twin/Long Lake, Cheri Lake, Prator Lake, Loon Lake, Woody Lake, Zero Lake, Bear Paw Lake, and Bench Lake.  Trails for hiking and ATVs crisscross most of Houston.  Many either lead toward the Hatcher's Pass Recreation Area or to the trail systems along the Big Su River from Big Lake to Willow which are most popular during winter months for dog mushers and snowmachiners. During the summer months, a water trail is popular in the Nancy Lakes region. Annual events include  Founder's Day, a community celebration boasting live entertainment, food and craft vendors, activities for the whole family and a fireworks display held on the 3rd Saturday of each August. 

 

Houston has several community organizations such as Mid-Valley Seniors, The Homesteaders Community Center, Susitna Rotary, Houston Lions, and the Houston Chamber of Commerce.  Elementary students attend Big Lake and Willow schools.  The Houston High School and Middle School serve students from the surrounding area. Residents are employed in the nearby Wasilla/Palmer area with some commuting to Anchorage and the North Slope.  Since Houston is a popular fishing and recreation center for the Little Susitna River and area lakes, several businesses provide hospitality services. 

Transportation into Houston includes the George Parks Highway and the Alaska Railroad.  Air services are available at Anchorage International Airport for large commercial flights, and Black Spruce Airport (Runways: 1), Gus Landing Airport (Runways: 1), Reids Landing Airport (Runways: 1), Satterbergs Airport (Runways: 1), and  Morvro Lake Seaplane Base. The average daily traffic count along the George Parks Highway at Houston is 19,000 vehicles as measured by AKDOT & PF.

 

January temperatures range from -33 to 33 while July temperatures range from 42 to 83.  The average annual rainfall is 15 inches of precipitation, mostly gained from mid-July through the first-half of September, and 45 inches of snow.  Winds are frequently lower than the Palmer/Wasilla area with daily averages ranging from less than 1 mph to 6 mph. 

 

60% of residents have individual wells, septic tanks and complete plumbing.  The school uses its own well water system.  The remainder haul water and use outhouses.  The Borough landfill in Big Lake is used.

 

Highlights

 

ECONOMY

The unemployment rate in Houston is 7.7% (U.S. avg. is 6.0%). Recent job growth is Negative. Houston jobs have decreased by 0.7%. More Economy

COST OF LIVING

Compared to the rest of the country, Houston's cost of living is 5.6% higher than the U.S. average. More Cost of Living or Compare Houston's Cost of Living

WEATHER & CLIMATE

July, June and August are the most pleasant months in Houston, while December and January are the least comfortable months. Today's Weather | Climate Averages

VOTING

In the last Presidential election, Matanuska-Susitna Borough remained overwhelmingly Republican, 71.2% to 24.7%. More Voting Stats

POPULATION

Houston's population is 2,462 people. Since 2020, it has had a population growth of 24.3%. Learn More...

TRANSPORTATION

Average Commute time is 37.7 minutes. The National Average is 26.4 minutes. Learn More...

REAL ESTATE

The median home cost in Houston is Real Estate: $185,500. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 8.1%.

SCHOOLS

Houston public schools spend $17,054 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $12,383. There are about 19.9 students per teacher in Houston. More Education

SOURCE: https://www.bestplaces.net/city/alaska/houston

Public Transportation

Valley Transit

Valley Transit is a non-profit that provides public transportation for the Mat-Su. Operating Monday-Saturday we offer a fixed scheduled between the Valley & Anchorage and demand response service within the Valley. We now have service on Saturday! Including 4 round trips between the Valley and Anchorage and Demand Response Service available based on reservation.

We are also offering FREE FARE Fridays on our fixed schedule for seniors (60+) and youth (17 and younger) as well as a discounted zone rate on demand response everyday for senior and youth!

Source: http://www.valleytransitak.org/