Open letter to city councillors and Mayor Buckway re Development Incentives Policy:
I see in the August 17 Yukon News there are 24 two-, three- or four-bedroom units for rent between $1,000 and $2,500 per month, with utilities extra.
There are 22 rooms for rent, shared, or bachelor suites from $450 to $900 per month. As seen in the “tent city” on the grounds of the Yukon government building, in the number of couch surfers, true homeless and those paying one-half or more of their income on housing, the issue in the city is not one of more rental accommodation, but affordable accommodation.
Affordable means one-third or less than the group’s or individual’s earnings, stable, supportive housing available through layoffs, mental illness, physical illness and all other hardships that could make any one of us homeless without family or other financial help.
I see many financial incentives available to developers ranging from $10,000, $50,000 to $500,000 and the question begs to be asked Ã why are you giving money to developers who are just going to turn around and charge current market price when truly the need is for supportive housing?
There are already many condominiums available now and more are being built in the near future that will undoubtedly become rental units, investments for those well-heeled Yukon residents.
I read, hear on radio programs and see on documentaries where housing is the first step in helping those with difficulties in life to get started in a healing process. Judicial systems, health services, crime rates, all are influenced positively when people finally have the security of somewhere to call their own home.
I entreat you to consider putting the tax incentives to supportive and truly affordable housing only.