Housing crisis in Whitehorse

Housing crisis in Whitehorse I am a senior who has lived in the North for more than 42 years, many of them in Whitehorse. I made sure my home was fully paid for and free of any mortgage when it came to planning for my retirement. Recently, I requested

I am a senior who has lived in the North for more than 42 years, many of them in Whitehorse. I made sure my home was fully paid for and free of any mortgage when it came to planning for my retirement.

Recently, I requested two grants from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation that I am entitled to for very necessary repairs to my home, only to find out that they don’t have a budget for these grants.

This government’s plan for seniors is to warehouse them in apartments that have eliminated the CMHC’s budget for individual seniors.

Nothing is more unbearable than to be housed in a complex with a bunch of gossipy old folks with nothing else to do.

For the past 13 years, I have lived in a neighbourhood that’s mixed in age and we all help each other when asked.

It irritates me that I am entitled to up to $34,000 worth of repairs to my home, and can’t access these grants to hire a plumber or furnace man.

Now, I was told I could request a loan from the Yukon government, but that’s a loan that must be paid back and not a grant. Living on a very fixed income prevents me from seeking a loan.

Reverse mortgages do not exist in the Yukon, so I cannot access this source of funding. Emergency repair grants with CMHC exist in the rest of Canada, but not in the Yukon.

Supposedly, the Yukon government has a policy to keep seniors in their own homes as long as possible, but they seem to be more interested in housing us in apartment complexes than keeping us in our own homes.

In the area that I live, there is a wonderful natural park, McIntyre Creek, just out my back fence that I have enjoyed for years. The city wants to develop this land, which would destroy one of the city’s natural parks.

Whistle Bend subdivision has already disrupted our lives along with destroying migrating wildlife patterns in our neighborhood. We have always had bears, but this year was particularly bad because of the construction of this subdivision. This year we even had a family of four porcupines take up residency in our kids’ park.

This area was known as the Yukon College Endowment Land and was protected at one time.

We don’t need more lots to sell to wealthy buyers from Outside who want to take advantage of our generous health benefits in the Yukon.

We need funding for seniors who need their homes repaired, and for the homeless who need reasonably priced rental units.

Jill Walton

Whitehorse