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WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is suggesting the Liberal government stabilize the rental housing market by abandoning their failed rent control policy. Since the Liberal-NDP policy’s introduction, rents have risen significantly, and the number of units has not kept up with demand as investors have been scared off.
Numbers from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics (YBS) show that rent control has only hurt affordability for renters. Since the policy came into force in 2021, median rent for all Yukon units is up 14.4 per cent– significantly higher than the rate of inflation.
“This failed policy is adding to the housing crisis and forcing Yukoners to make tough choices,” said Yukon Party Official Opposition Housing Critic Yvonne Clarke. “This flawed policy has made renting less affordable for Yukoners and put the squeeze on the number of units available. It’s unfortunate that it’s Yukoners who are being left out on the street due to a policy that was drawn up behind closed doors with no consultation.”
In addition, statistics from the YBS show that rental availability has lagged behind population growth, as has happened previously in other jurisdictions and was predicted by critics. Those numbers show the Yukon’s population growing by 4.79 per cent, which outstrips a meager 1.45 per cent increase in available rental units.
“Everyone from landlords to renters are saying the rental market is tougher now then before the policy was brought in,” added Clarke. “Given the evidence, it is disappointing to hear the premier now saying that he supports the Liberal-NDP rent control policy. Everyone can see it is only harming the rental market.”
Despite the evidence of how the rent control policy is harming Yukoners, the premier continues to seek the support of Kate White and the NDP to prop up his ineffective Liberal government. In return for the support, the NDP benefits from over a quarter-million dollars of direct funding from cabinet to their caucus annually.