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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is urging the territorial Liberals to address the increased cost of housing that will result from releasing unfinished lots in Whistle Bend.
Faced with mounting criticism of their mismanagement on the housing file, the Liberals decided to rush the release of unfinished lots earlier this year. This decision is adding costs to building and delaying the development of new homes for Yukoners already facing a housing affordability crisis. Despite being unavailable to the purchasers, the government has charged interest on the lots since their purchase date.
In April, the land lottery package acknowledged that construction on the lots was still underway, and the government assured prospective buyers that they would be available by ‘early summer 2023.’ Despite that assurance, lots in Phase 6B are still unavailable to those who have purchased them because construction is still incomplete. This is creating serious issues for homebuilders who hoped to begin building this construction season and adding costs through interest charges.
“It’s simply not fair to have interest accruing on lots that the purchasers do not have access to,” said Housing Critic and Porter Creek Centre MLA Yvonne Clarke. “This situation is exactly what we warned the Liberal government about during the Spring Sitting of the Legislative Assembly: passing the buck on to lot purchasers. The Liberal government is making home builders pay for their mismanagement, which is not only causing delays in getting homes built but increasing the end cost of this much-needed housing for Yukoners.”
In response to this situation, the Yukon Party is calling on the Liberal Government to waive the interest payments that they charge for lots for the time that purchasers do not have access to the lots. Furthermore, the Yukon Party is calling on the Liberal Government to work with those who purchased the lots to accommodate the loss of a construction season by amending building timeline requirements. The government should also provide additional resources to the City of Whitehorse to ensure that the inevitable surge of development permit applications that will come once Phase 6B is complete, does not create a bottleneck.