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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is concerned to see a $6 million cut to the housing budget in the Liberal government’s 2023-24 Supplementary Budget tabled last week. Affordability and availability of housing continue to be one of the biggest challenges facing Yukoners as they struggle with the rising cost of living.
“Yukoners know the territory is in a housing crisis,” said Yukon Party Official Opposition Housing Critic Yvonne Clarke. “That is why it is very concerning to see the Liberals cutting money for housing development. This is the premier’s own department, and he has made the surprising decision to reduce capital spending by $6 million.”
The premier’s cut in the Supplementary Budget comes in the form of $4 million to the Northern Carve Out fund and a $2 million reduction to the Developer Build Loan Program.
In the spring, the premier said that the $5 million budgeted for the Developer Build Loan Program would “support community development partnerships that increase housing supply in the territory.” Unfortunately, this Liberal budget now cuts that total by 40 per cent.
These reductions follow Liberal cuts to land development in the spring, when the Association of Yukon Communities raised the alarm of a 55 per cent cut to the development of housing land in rural Yukon amid a shortage. That Liberal budget also cut the land assessment and planning budget by almost $1.4 million.
Despite these cuts to spending on housing amidst a housing crisis, Kate White and the NDP continue to prop up the Liberal government. In return for the support, the NDP benefits from over $270,000 of additional annual funding from cabinet to their caucus.