WHITEHORSE—Progress is being made on the development of a Housing Action Plan for Yukon following the Housing Symposium which convened in Whitehorse last November.
“The symposium was instrumental in gathering many housing stakeholders together to discuss the Housing Action Plan objectives, and to be engaged as committee members in its development,” Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation Brad Cathers said. “The committees are now formed and are beginning their work.”
The Housing Symposium brought together a cross-section of stakeholders including social service providers, realtors, construction industry, banking, architects, First Nation and municipal governments, housing project proponents, as well as the Salvation Army and other faith-based organizations, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon (FASSY), Options for Independence and the chambers of commerce.
Symposium participants identified system gaps, such as social data collection and sharing, and how to address them to improve program development. Other questions considered included the real number of homeless people, the actual number of rental accommodation units available, the number of people accessing housing programs offered by government and non-government organizations, and the length of time clients are dependent on support programs.
“The symposium provided participants the opportunity to meet and discuss issues they face each day,” Cathers added. “For many of the groups, this was the first time they had met with other stakeholders to share their perspectives and develop mutual understandings. This networking has already added value to the process of developing the Housing Action Plan.”
A What We Heard summary from the Housing Symposium is available at housing.yk.ca/housing_action_plan
Communications, Yukon Housing Corporation
Housing Action Plan Committees
- A Land Affordability / Housing Committee is comprised of ministerial representation from the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Housing Action Plan government departments of Community Service, Energy Mines and Resources, and Health and Social Services. The committee will provide direction to the Steering Committee and will keep Caucus members briefed on Housing Action Plan developments. Its recommendations and decisions will form the basis of any cabinet submissions.
- A Steering Committee consists of the Yukon Housing Corporation president and deputy ministers from the departments of Community Services, Energy Mines and Resources, and Health and Social Services. This committee is responsible for providing recommendations to the Land Affordability / Housing Committee. Their recommendations will also be the basis of any management board submissions and any required Cabinet or Caucus presentations. The committee will respond to Community Advisory Committee recommendations.
- A Community Advisory Committee has board members that represent Yukon’s diverse community. This committee will be the lead housing advisory committee responsible for ensuring the housing plan includes stakeholder interests and identifies obtainable activities between government and non-government organizations. This committee will act as an information conduit between the Steering Committee and Working Group Committees, as well as provide recommendations to the latter. It will also review key housing plan results, project reports and recommendations.
- Working Group Committees made up of eight to ten self-selected symposium participants—government and community representatives—will help develop thematic work plans in no more than six months. The Community Advisory Committee will provide feedback on the plans, with the Steering Committee then providing recommendations and approval. Committee membership will be reviewed by the Community Advisory and the Steering committees to ensure each group has stakeholder skills and expertise required.
Action Plan Pillars:
Community stakeholders, at the Housing Action Plan Symposium on November 26, 2013, clearly identified themes and strategic priorities that connect areas along the housing continuum plan. As a result, three overarching Action Plan Pillars were developed, which will form three Working Group Committees that will help further connect the plan.
- The Housing Accommodations with Additional Services pillar will encompass finding shelter and supportive housing services.
- The Rental Housing pillar represents the middle of the housing continuum and includes both market and non-market—social / rent-geared-to-income housing— home rental.
- The Home Ownership pillar encompasses several key areas including land, design and development, lending and available real estate.