New apartment unit 'a start' to easing Dawson City's housing crunch
Work to start soon on 8-unit apartment building, 'an obvious need' in Dawson
Dawson City should see a bit of relief from its ongoing housing crunch by next summer, when a new 8-unit affordable housing block is expected to be open and ready for tenants.
"It's not going to be the total solution, but it's going to be a start," said Brian Stethem of the Klondike Development Organization (KDO), a non-profit partnership of local groups, including the local municipal council and chamber of commerce.
The KDO has received $900,000 in federal and territorial funding to help pay for the construction. A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for Monday, with construction beginning "right after that," Stethem said.
"It's an obvious need here in Dawson," he said. "There's been a housing shortage here for some time and our population has increased substantially."
Stethem said more young families are moving to town, and it's getting harder for any new arrivals to find a place to live. Sometimes, he said, people end up couch-surfing. Others live in tents or vans.
The new building will include six one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units "of modest size," according to KDO. Prospective tenants must have incomes below Yukon social housing program limits.
The territorial government has said the new building should serve as an economic stimulus, providing jobs during construction. Stethem says the new housing could also spur other economic growth.
"We've had people who will not come and start businesses here, because there's no housing for their staff. So it's a real conundrum."
The new building will be on King St., between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where the Triple J Hotel now has some cabins. The land was purchased at market value, and Stethem says the cabins will be moved to make way for the new building.
"It's almost surreal it's taken so long to get here, and now it's happening. We're all pretty excited," he said.
With files from Mike Rudyk
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?