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Affordable housing dough use it or lose it

There's $50 million available for affordable housing in the Yukon. It was announced in January's federal budget. "But the Yukon hasn't seen a dime," said Premier Dennis Fentie recently.

There’s $50 million available for affordable housing in the Yukon.

It was announced in January’s federal budget.

“But the Yukon hasn’t seen a dime,” said Premier Dennis Fentie recently.

To get the money, the territory has to give the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation a list of projects.

If the projects pass muster, the money is transferred.

“We use it or lose it,” said Fentie.

If the projects aren’t approved, or the list does not exhaust the $50 million in funding, then, after two years, the money vanishes.

They need to be “shovel-ready” projects, said Liberal critic Gary McRobb.

“But the government hasn’t identified any projects yet,” he said.

“The idea is to get the money out fast—it’s a stimulus—so one would think they’d want to get the projects moving.

“But the money’s just sitting there.”

Fentie wouldn’t say which projects his government is proposing to access the funding.

“I believe Yukon Housing has a list in to CMHC, and it’s awaiting confirmation,” he said.

“We are trying to meet the eligibility requirements for social or affordable housing projects.”

Yukon Housing “is working with CMHC to conclude an agreement relating to projects,” said spokesperson Nathalie Harwood.

Harwood could not comment on the projects, she said.

“Once there is an agreement we can work with the federal government to release it.”(Genesee Keevil)