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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the Liberal government to drop both their rent control policies and Landlord Assistance Program to restabilize the rental housing market.
With the Yukon still experiencing inflation above target levels and landlords restricted in the amount they can raise rent to offset rising costs, Yukoners are wondering if the Liberal government will continue their Landlord Assistance Program in 2024. With the finalization of the 2024-2025 territorial budget in the coming months, the Liberals should clarify if they plan to continue this program and if they will meaningfully consult with the NDP on this major budgetary expenditure as mandated in Section 2.2 of the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA).
“We know the Premier only launched the landlord subsidy program to offset the harmful rent control policies he now endorses himself,” said Housing Critic Yvonne Clarke. “Yukoners, NGOs, both tenant and landlord organizations, and the opposition have all criticized the program. We hope the Liberals will start acting in the best interests of Yukoners and reject ineffective and harmful policies.”
A report from CBC Yukon indicates the government’s policy staffers recommended against the program. One wrote: ‘There is no evidence that the proposed amount will have a demonstrable impact on a landlord's decision of whether to continue investing in rental units.’
The Yukon Party brought a motion forward on the last day of the fall sitting to defund and eliminate the Landlord Assistance Program funding. Despite the criticism from multiple sectors, the NDP surprisingly voted to support the program and fund it, even though removing it would not have brought down the government.