Interior of the eight-unit affordable rental building developed by Klondike Development Organization which officially opened its doors in Dawson on May 31. (Submitted/Marina Osmond)

Affordable rentals open in Dawson

Eight new units celebrated

The Klondike Development Organization officially opened its eight-unit building in downtown Dawson on May 31 with June 1 marking move-in day for those living in three of the rentals.

“They were pretty happy,” Evelyn Pollack, KDO’s spokesperson, said in a June 3 interview, adding that more tenants will move in over the next month.

The affordable housing project on Third Avenue was two years in the making with KDO starting to plan for it just after completing its first housing project, a similar eight-unit structure at King Street and 6th Avenue.

The latest project features six 44-square-metre one-bedroom units and two 55-square-metre two-bedroom units at 1075 Third Ave.

The tenants set to call the building home are from a range of backgrounds, with about half being seniors.

“It’s really accessible and easy” for residents to get around shops and services in the downtown core, Pollack said.

The second level of the building features a deck that hangs over the street. KDO worked with Dawson’s Heritage Advisory Committee to get permission for the overhang.

“It was a great partnership,” she said, adding it was fairly common during the early 1900s for buildings to have a footprint into the street so it is fitting with the heritage of the community.

A kitchen from the eight-unit affordable rental housing project developed by Klondike Development Organization which officially opened its doors in Dawson on May 31. (Submitted/Klondike Development Organization)

The project was built with $900,000 in funding from the federal and territorial governments.

Rent for the units is required to stay below market rate. Currently rent ranges from $950 to $1,020 a month for the one-bedroom units and $1,285 for the two-bedrooms.

Numerous government officials were on-hand for the official opening of the new apartments.

“As a government, we are committed to supporting housing options to make Yukon communities healthy, vibrant and sustainable,” said Pauline Frost, the minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation. “We are excited to continue to support the work of the Klondike Development Organization to address the need for stable and affordable housing in Dawson.”

Pollack said officials see this as one way to help meet the housing demands in Dawson with a number of other projects by other groups also working towards the same goal.

“From a community-based economic development standpoint, this project checks several boxes: creating stable, year-round rentals, supports our labor market, and its 3rd Avenue location contributes to downtown revitalization as well as increased accessibility and minimized reliance on vehicle use,” KDO president Jackie Olson said. “We’re especially pleased that this project was executed by local contractors and crews sourcing materials locally so that the development of this housing directly supports Dawson City’s economy, particularly through the winter.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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