We are letting people suffer in the streets

We are letting people suffer in the streets As many of us are now fully aware, the territorial government has just cancelled three "affordable" housing projects that were slated to create 75 housing units at up to 95 per cent the market rental rate. The

As many of us are now fully aware, the territorial government has just cancelled three “affordable” housing projects that were slated to create 75 housing units at up to 95 per cent the market rental rate. The plan was funded by the Northern Housing Trust, of which the government has $13.5 million left after six years of sitting on the money.

The rejection of this plan, which took years to arrive at, no doubt means several more years of inaction before another attempt is made to solve the housing crisis.

Meanwhile, people in the territory continue to be unable to afford the housing they need. This can mean having to access emergency shelters regularly, or staying with friends in overcrowded conditions. Women continue to have their children taken away from them for being homeless, reduce their spending on food and healthcare to pay for housing, or put themselves at risk in abusive relationships or by exchanging sex for shelter.

Given these realities, we should be jumping at the opportunity to spend $13.5 million on creating housing. But by sending the issue back to the drawing board again, the government has clearly chosen not to. Their reasoning for cancelling the project was not to make it more fitting to the realities of people’s varying housing needs; no, they instead took their advice from the Yukon Real Estate Association, which claims that the plan could have unfairly deflated the market. With 75 new units, in a population of 25,000.

This is our responsibility as well. The money involved came out of our taxes, and the elected officials choosing not to use it are paid by us to make decisions in the interests of the community. Will we stand by silently as they actively reject the opportunity to prevent some of the desperate compromises people are forced into when they cannot afford housing?

We need affordable housing now. It is not something we can simply put off for a few more years, or until the next election. We should not accept the fact that our government is actively making decisions that endanger the health and safety of hundreds of adults and children in our community.

Mona Luxion and

Robin Reid-Fraser


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read