Yukon cancels $13M affordable housing program

The Yukon government is backing out of its $13 million affordable rental housing program due to the concerns of private sector developers.

The Yukon government is backing out of its $13 million affordable rental housing program, due to the concerns of private sector developers.

Housing Minister Brad Cathers says developers have convinced him projects currently under construction in Whitehorse would be put at risk with the program.

Yukon Housing Minister Brad Cathers says developers have convinced him projects currently under construction in Whitehorse would be put at risk by its affordable housing program.

"Investors and developers have been very clear about the fact that they would have second thoughts about continuing going forward with those private plans to provide more housing and accommodation, including some that would be competitive with the rates envisioned by this process," he said.

Yukon's opposition is not impressed by the government's flip-flop. NDP housing critic, Kate White, says the government's words are not followed up with action.

"It's another example of the Yukon Party incompetence on the housing file," she said.

"What we've seen in recent years is the press release on the good they are going to do for housing, and then we get the press release that says 'Oh, by the way, we are cancelling the project.'"

The government promised up to 75 housing units would be built in Whitehorse to address the lack of affordable rental housing. But, developers and Whitehorse landlords complained the subsidized rental homes might flood an already overcrowded market.

The government says the Yukon Real Estate Association and the Residential Landlord Association in Whitehorse have now been invited to help develop an alternate plan.

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