Terry Bergen

Terry Bergen of the Yukon Real Estate Association. (CBC)

Yukon realtors and landlords are applauding the government decision to cancel its $13 million affordable rental housing program.

The government had promised to subsidize up to 75 housing units in Whitehorse, but developers and Whitehorse landlord said the plan was misguided and would have flooded an already crowded housing market.

Terry Bergen of the Yukon Real Estate Association says there are currently at least 4,000 rental suites in Whitehorse.

"Admittedly, five years ago rents were too high, and there was nothing available but in the past five years hundreds and hundreds of revenue suites were built and now we have a surplus looming with lots of projects half sold, because the demand is just not there,” he says.

Bergen says Canada housing statistics show Whitehorse has the lowest rental rates in the North.

Sonny Gray represents some of the estimated 3,000 landlords in Whitehorse.

He says the government program failed to properly target the people in need.

"We keep hearing the word affordability and it seemed to me and the landlord association that it was affordability in name only because it failed to target the people who needed that space.”

Gray says some of the proposals rejected by the government could easily be tweaked to meet the program needs.

He and Bergen say their associations will gladly help the government come up with an alternative program that meets city housing needs.