A loan program that is intended to help Yukoners buy or build a home when they don’t qualify for a mortgage through the bank but has only approved one applicant is a failure, according to the Yukon NDP housing critic.
A spokesperson for the Yukon Housing Corporation confirmed by email that 40 applications have been received, with only one approval for the home ownership loan program. Twenty-five of those applications have been denied and 14 have been cancelled by applicants. The lone approved applicant later cancelled their application.
Yukon NDP MLA for Whitehorse Centre Lane Tredger asked about the program in the Yukon Legislative Assembly on Nov. 15.
The confidence and supply agreement, commonly known as CASA, signed by the Yukon NDP and the governing Yukon Liberal Party calls for expanding the “eligibility of the Yukon Housing Corporation home building loan program to Whitehorse residents.” Both parties confirmed the CASA commitment actually refers to the home ownership loan program.
That commitment has been fulfilled.
Now the Yukon NDP wants to know what’s being done to fix the program.
Minister John Streicker responded on behalf of Premier Ranj Pillai, who is responsible for the housing file and was away ill. Streicker didn’t indicate what is being fixed or that anything needs to be fixed. He noted the program, which previously only applied to rural Yukon, has been expanded to Whitehorse.
Tredger questioned the eligibility process and offered their version of a potential solution.
“It’s getting to the point where builders and realtors don’t want to sell to people who plan to use the home ownership program, because it’s not worth the trouble,” they said.
“It would make a lot more sense and save everyone a lot of work if applications could be pre-approved through the Yukon home ownership [loan] program, just like other people are pre-approved through banks. This would be a short-term fix while Yukon Housing [Corporation] redesigns the program, but it would save a lot of people a lot of grief.”
Streicker said he would pass the questions onto Pillai.
Editor’s note: The Yukon Housing Corporation incorrectly said by email that 39 applications had been recieved. A spokesperson for the housing corporation later confirmed that, in fact, 40 applications had been recieved.
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