I have been reading most of the articles regarding the Northern Housing Trust screw-up. In Wednesday’s Yukon News, I read Mr. Antonio Zedda’s comment and was struck by one of his statements. It appears that he has played right into the hand of the realtors and landlords. His statement shows exactly what they have been saying all along.
Zedda’s statement pretty much confirms the intention of the developer of the proposed “affordable housing” projects. He states that “we wanted to do something that provided small, affordable units that would be geared to the demographic that were my employees,” whether or not those employees earned $33,000 a year ($795/month rent would be 30 per cent of that gross income), or $82,345 a year (Whitehorse median household income in 2010 which would result in the $795/month rent being less than 12 per cent of their income). Definitely no guarantee that the units on that project would have ever housed a person whom the housing trust fund was meant to benefit.
By Zedda’s statement, it can be assumed that he had no concern for the people who really need “affordable housing,” but only to look after his own interests.
How many of the other units built by developers would go to the cream of the crop tenants such as employees, family and friends? They would be looking for the ones who would guarantee that the rental units would be kept in prime condition so that after the 10-year period was up they could sell the units without needing to put much into them and flee with the profits, or raise the rents to the market value as the government had given them such a nice chunk of change for nothing.
Then we would be back at the stage where there is still no affordable housing and the housing trust fund is gone as well.
There is no simple solution to this fiasco, and no matter how it turns out, not everyone, or maybe nobody, will be entirely happy.