WHITEHORSE—The Yukon Housing Corporation has issued a request for qualifications to construct and operate new affordable rental housing in Yukon.
“For many Yukoners finding affordable rental housing remains a challenge,” the Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation Brad Cathers said. “The purpose of this call for qualifications is to identify private sector and non-government organizations that may have solutions to construct and operate affordable housing in the rental market.”
Yukon Housing Corporation defines 'affordable' as rental rates that remain at or below 95 per cent of median rates within a community. The median rent for Whitehorse in June 2013 was $875.
“Our government’s intention is to leverage the remaining $13 million from the Northern Housing Trust to stimulate the construction of more affordable rental housing in Yukon,” Cathers added. “We encourage proponents to consider inventive housing solutions that will endure for the long term, as there will always be a need for affordable rental accommodations.”
Projects funded under this process must guarantee that rental rates will remain affordable for at least 10 years.
“Yukon Housing Corporation’s five-year strategic plan is focused on helping to alleviate the most pressing housing challenges,” Yukon Housing Corporation Board Chair Claire Derome said. “I look forward to reviewing the innovative ideas put forward by proponents to this request for qualifications and proposals.”
The deadline for submitting qualifications is November 19. A request for proposals will begin after successful proponents are identified.
See Backgrounder below.
Communications, Yukon Housing Corp.
* Revised January 14, 2014
Northern Housing Trust
The Government of Canada established the $300 million Northern Housing Trust in 2006 to respond to the need for affordable housing in the three northern territories.
- The Government of Yukon’s portion was a total of $50 million over three years.
- The Yukon government and First Nation governments negotiated agreements on how the $50 million would be shared. These negotiations determined that First Nations would receive $32.5 million to address their priority housing needs.
- The Yukon government retained $17.5 million to spend on affordable housing issues. These allocations were endorsed at a 2006 Yukon Forum meeting.
- Negotiations also led to an investment plan to guide the types of projects and activities the funds could be used for.
Allocation of funding agreements with Yukon’s 14 First Nations
- Yukon’s 14 First Nations decided how the funds would be divided. They informed the Yukon government of the allocations and how they intended to spend the money.
- At this point, funding agreements were prepared for each First Nation. The agreements were based on a common approach used by all First Nations.
- Each First Nation received their allocation in the form of a grant from the Yukon government through the Executive Council Office.
Prioritizing the Government of Yukon’s portion
- This one-time federal investment was intended to provide flexibility to territorial governments to invest in new affordable housing units according to their own needs and priorities.
- Approximately $4.5 million from the remaining Northern Housing Trust funding was used to construct Betty’s Haven, a ten suite second stage housing facility, in partnership with Kaushee’s Place.
- The government intends to leverage the remaining $13 million from the Northern Housing Trust to stimulate construction of more affordable rental housing in Yukon.