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A new Yukon Party government will address the lack of affordable housing across the Yukon by taking Action for a Change and make it easier for Yukoners to afford a place to live.
The shortage of affordable housing has caused a strain on young families, seniors on fixed incomes are struggling with rising monthly costs, and businesses are suffering as it is difficult to recruit and retain employees if there are no affordable housing options.
“For years, the housing market and lack of affordable housing has kept the dream of homeownership out of reach for many Yukoners and this reality has been holding back our economy,” said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon. “A Yukon Party government will work with its partners to focus on land development and availability across the territory to address this issue, unlock the territory’s potential, and make life more affordable.”
Addressing this issue cannot be done alone. It needs to be done in concert and collaboration with First Nations, municipalities, and the private sector. In order to increase land availability for development, a Yukon Party government will work in partnership to address this important issue by:
- Working with Yukon First Nations to create mutually beneficial agreements to make more land accessible for residential, commercial and industrial development.
- Working with Yukon First Nations to promote confidence and clarity in leased Settlement Lands as a viable development option.
- Releasing land to allow for private sector development.
- Working with the City of Whitehorse to plan for residential land development in Whitehorse beyond Whistle Bend.
- Working with the City of Whitehorse to provide a better variety of lot types, including country or rural residential lots.
- Working with the City of Whitehorse to improve the accountability and transparency around the lot lottery process.
- Making more land available in all Yukon communities by working with municipalities and Yukon First Nations.
- Increasing the supply of recreational land available to Yukoners.
- Creating a “First Time Land Buyer” program to increase access to land for the next generation of Yukoners.
As noted by the 2017 Financial Advisory Panel: “A well-functioning housing market is an essential element of any successful economy.” In order to implement measures to help address the territory’s housing crisis, a Yukon Party government will:
- Re-introduce housing programs that were cancelled by the current government, such as the First Time Home Buyer Program and the Down Payment Assistance Program.
- Review the size and purpose of the Yukon government’s involvement in the housing sector.
- Examine existing rent support programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of Yukoners and make necessary adjustments.
- Explore tax incentives to incentivize the construction of affordable housing.
- Work with Yukon First Nations Development Corporations to develop affordable housing based upon the successful model that has been used in Whistle Bend.
“The strained housing market is not confined to Whitehorse as it also negatively affects our rural citizens,” added Dixon. “In order for our communities to grow and succeed, we need to work with our partners to ensure there are accessible lots and houses throughout the territory.”
In order to achieve this, a Yukon Party government will:
- Increase private housing options in Yukon communities.
- Review the Yukon Housing Corporation’s role in rural communities.
- Explore tax incentives and grant programs to incentivize the construction and ownership of private housing in rural communities.
- Work with communities and financial institutions to review the availability of mortgages to Yukoners living in rural communities.
“A Yukon Party government will be a government for all Yukoners to foster success across the entire territory,” said Dixon. “Unlike some places in Canada, our lack of land availability is not due to a lack of raw land or space. It is the lack of political will, the Yukon Party team is ready to take action for a change to make life more affordable for Yukoners.”
Today’s announcement is part of the Yukon Party’s plan to give Yukoners Action for a Change to increase affordability for citizens and businesses and lead the territory out of the pandemic into a prosperous future by:
- Providing a clear path forward with timelines and benchmarks to provide Yukoners with certainty about reopening.
Freezing power rates to make life more affordable.
- Creating a non-taxable Yukon Universal Childcare Benefit of $500 per child per month for every child up to 5 and $100 per child per month from every child 6 to 10. This will ensure life is more affordable for families and no child is left behind.
- Creating an Education Recovery Plan to ensure no student is left behind.
Enhancing mental health supports for Yukoners to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.
Enhancing and accelerate relief funding for businesses.
Streamlining supports for business.
Reducing red tape to support small business.
- Investing in green and renewable energy to help Canada achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.