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WHITEHORSE – A significant contributing factor to the Yukon’s housing affordability crisis is a lack of supply of land available for housing development. This is because of the Liberal government’s inability to keep up with demand due to mismanagement, lack of planning, and delays. The latest example is the continued and chronic delays associated with Phase 6 of Whistle Bend in Whitehorse.
On March 7, 2022, the Liberal government issued a press release stating that contractors would have access to lots in Phase 6A starting June 30, 2022. However, as of August 25, 2022 contractors are still unable to access these lots to begin construction of much needed housing. This government-caused two-month delay further limits the ability of the private sector to get housing to market and will compound the housing affordability crisis.
Phase 6 of Whistle Bend has already been significantly delayed due to mismanagement by the Liberal government. On May 18, 2021, the Minister of Community Services told the Legislative Assembly that the government would release 171 lots in Phase 6 by the fall of 2021. While the lots have been released, they remain inaccessible and unavailable to build on more than one year later.
“The Liberals need to start taking the housing affordability crisis seriously,” said Yvonne Clarke, Official Opposition Critic for Housing. “Far too many Yukoners are finding their dream of homeownership disappearing and the government has unfortunately not done enough to get more land to market in a timely manner.”
To help address the housing affordability crisis, the Government of Yukon should immediately identify parcels of land that can be developed by the private sector and provide financial support to municipalities to expedite required zoning and planning with the proper support
“The private sector is ready, willing, and able to help address the affordability crisis but the lack of planning by the Liberal government is unfortunately making their job more difficult,” added Clarke. “The time for talking points and so-called draft plans aren’t going to cut it anymore, it’s time for real action.”
Because of this inaction by the government, many Yukoners have seen the cost of housing become unattainable. In Whitehorse, the average price of a single detached home was $420,300 in Q4 of 2016. At the same time in 2022, after just 6 years of Liberal government, that price had skyrocketed to $695,100.
“A 65% increase in the average cost of a house in just 6 years is staggering,” finished Clarke. “This is just one of the many areas of out of control inflation that is making it too unaffordable to live here.”