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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is again highlighting Liberal mismanagement of housing in the Yukon. The new allocation policy that reduces priority access to housing for women and children fleeing violence is an unacceptable step backward for the most vulnerable Yukoners. This follows the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) report that found it took twice as long to provide homes for vulnerable Yukoners, such as those fleeing violence.
Compounding the issue is the staggering growth in the social housing waitlist. The OAG revealed it has grown by 315 percent between 2015 and 2021.
“The Yukon Party believes that the new allocation policy should be revised to improve, not restrict, housing options for women and children fleeing abuse,” said Housing Critic Yvonne Clarke. “I encourage the Deputy Premier to use her influence with the Premier to ensure the Women and Gender Equity Directorate use their expertise to review the changes. In addition, there should be engagement with non-government organizations so that women and children fleeing violence and other vulnerable Yukoners get priority on the waitlist.”
The latest misstep in housing continues the trend of delayed, late, and undelivered commitments. Early last month, the premier took part in a media event at 4th and Jeckell where he ‘opened’ the building. However, at the time, there was no official move-in date.
In addition, the Yukon Party Official Opposition has continually pointed out how Liberal government delays in getting residential lots to market have restricted the private sectors’ capacity to build more housing, especially in Whistle Bend. According to the December 2022 Investment in Building Construction from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, (YBS), seasonally adjusted expenditures in residential construction are down 24.1 percent year-over-year.
These delays are adding to the social housing waitlist denying both NGOs and the private sector from providing increased social housing opportunities.