Dawson City is out of houses.
There aren’t enough on the market and it’s too expensive to build, said Brian Stethem.
Year-round residents who want to buy their own home or move to a new one are out of luck, said the president of the Klondike Development Organization.
The development organization is made up of four of the town’s biggest economic forces: the Klondike Visitors Association, the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture, the town of Dawson and the Dawson Chamber of Commerce.
The organization’s not going to build houses, but it will try to “facilitate,” said Stethem.
To start, it conducted a survey.
The 200 Dawsonites who responded all flagged the housing crunch as an issue.
“It’s constant uncertainty,” said Stethem, about the rental market in Dawson. “There’s not enough houses for sale, there’s not enough turnover in houses … there is a housing crunch.”
The survey didn’t get into details.
So it’s not clear why people want to buy or move, he said.
The survey did find that many respondents could afford to buy a home.
But houses are hard to find, said Stethem.
“People don’t know how to start the process,” he said. “If you live in a bigger centre … you can go and see an open house, there’s an abundance of real estate brokers to talk to and things like that. So I think people need to know how to find and access funds to build a house and the actual process and logistics of doing that.”
Stethem admits that housing isn’t something that can be fixed over night.
But the organization is taking its first step.
From noon until 7 p.m. at the Downtown Hotel conference room, it’s putting on a housing information fair.
The municipal government, real estate professionals, local contractors and CIBC reps will be present to answer questions and offer information.
At 5:30 p.m. the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will be putting on presentations.
Everyone is welcome, said Stethem.
“We’re trying to be proactive in trying to deal with our housing issues here,” he said. “We’re trying to find solutions within the community.”
Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at firstname.lastname@example.org