Yukon social housing goes smoke free

As of Jan. 1, all social housing in the Yukon is now smoke-free. "We've adopted this policy because, from our standpoint as the landlord, it makes sense," said Yukon Housing Corporation spokesperson Nathalie Ouellet.

As of Jan. 1, all social housing in the Yukon is now smoke-free.

“We’ve adopted this policy because, from our standpoint as the landlord, it makes sense,” said Yukon Housing Corporation spokesperson Nathalie Ouellet.

“It reduces our maintenance costs, because it costs a lot more to repair a unit that’s been smoked in. It also reduces the fire risk, which is very important. And it protects our tenants, contractors and employees in the building from second-hand smoke.”

The policy change was first announced last May. From that point on, all new tenants were no longer allowed to smoke in their homes.

But existing tenants were given a grace period, giving them until the end of the year to get used to going outside for a cigarette.

Yukon Housing sent out a memo reminding these tenants of the change in late November.

There won’t be any checking up on tenants to make sure that everyone’s complying with the new rules, said Ouellet.

“We do have employees going in to do regular maintenance, so if it is obvious that somebody’s smoking then we’ll deal with it then.”

Based on the experiences of other jurisdictions, it’s usually neighbours who make complaints.

And if there are any complaints, it would be treated like any other violation of the lease.

Tenants would receive two written warnings first.

However, if they violate the lease a third time, the lease would be terminated and they’d be booted out of social housing.

Ouellet didn’t know if there had been any complaints or written warnings issued so far.

“From what we know, people have been complying.”

Yukon Housing received a lot of positive feedback about the policy change from tenants who were grateful they’d be able to live in a smoke-free environment.

It also received some negative feedback.

“The complaints that do come in are from smokers who are reluctant to change their habits,” said Ouellet.

“But they can still smoke, they just have to go outside.”

Contact Chris Oke at


Just Posted

Silver rules out HST, layoffs and royalty changes

Yukon’s financial advisory panel has released its final report

City of Whitehorse budgets $30M for infrastructure over four years

‘I think we’re concentrating on the most important things’

Yukon community liaison for MMIWG inquiry fired

Melissa Carlick, the Whitehorse-based community liaison officer for the national Missing and… Continue reading

Yukon man holds no grudge after being attacked by bison

‘The poor guy was only trying to fend off someone who he knew was trying to kill him’

Straight and true: the story of the Yukon colours

Michael Gates | History Hunter Last week, I participated in the 150th… Continue reading

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Alaska’s governor goes to China

There are very different rules for resource projects depending on which side of the border you’re on

Yukon survey shows broad support for legal pot

But there’s no consensus on retail and distribution models

Yukon government releases survey on the territory’s liquor laws

Changes could include allowing sale of booze in grocery stores

Get family consent before moving patients to other hospitals: NDP critic

‘Where is the respect and where is the dignity?’

Bill C-17 passes third reading in House of Commons

The bill, which will repeal controversial amendments made to YESAA by Bill S-6, will now go to Senate

White Pass and Yukon Route musical chugs on without director

The cast and crew of Stonecliff are pushing forward without Conrad Boyce, who went on medical leave

Most Read