Empty houses taunt the homeless

Jeckell Street is becoming a ghetto, say residents. People living in the area are blaming the growing number of empty townhouses.

Jeckell Street is becoming a ghetto, say residents. People living in the area are blaming the growing number of empty townhouses.

The townhouses belong to Yukon Housing and many have been sitting empty for more than six months.

Going door-to-door campaigning, NDP candidate Liz Hanson has heard complaint after complaint about the empty buildings.

People are “beyond angry that there are this many empty units when the housing market is so dire,” she said during a news conference Tuesday.

Yukon Housing has 364 units in Whitehorse, said Yukon Housing operations director Ron Brown.

Of those, 16 are empty.

“That’s not even five per cent,” he said.

But eight of those 16 are empty townhouses in the Jeckell Street area.

And two more are coming empty this month, said Hanson.

Brown did not know how long the townhouses had been sitting empty.

When a unit is vacated, Yukon Housing does repairs on the unit before moving new tenants in, he said.

“And all the work around Whitehorse is taking longer because it’s not easy to get contractors,” said Brown.

Yukon Housing has been using federal stimulus money to help with the repairs.

“We are trying to keep things going, because there’s a deadline on the money,” he said.

“And we have a long waitlist.”

On Wednesday, there were 134 people on Yukon Housing’s waitlist.

More than half those applicants, including victims fleeing violence, have been waiting between one and three years for housing, said Hanson in a release.

“If we can’t house our citizens and assist those who need it most, we have a real problem in our society,” she said, calling on government to release a housing adequacy report and a housing-and-poverty indicators report it’s been sitting on since earlier this year.

In the Yukon, 44 per cent of housing stock is in need of repair, based on territorial and federal statistics.

And there are 1,230 houses in the Yukon that are considered uninhabitable.

“Everywhere I go, I hear a Greek chorus lament, ‘Housing, housing, housing,’” said Hanson.

“We don’t need any more talk or studies on homelessness and housing needs,” she said in her release.

“That’s been done.”

Contact Genesee Keevil at


Just Posted

Yukon government releases WCC inspection report

The report contains 40 recommendations on how facilities and services at the WCC should be improved

No new forensic unit planned for Whitehorse’s hospital

Justice says hospital may expand services it offers inmates but not enough to qualify as ‘forensic’

NDP decries lack of ‘urgency’ in governments response to WCC inspection

‘The reality is that the longer this goes on the less humane our prison system is in the territory’

Whitehorse Correctional Centre report a ‘starting point’ to address justice system issues, CYFN says

CYFN executive director Shadelle Chambers says the justice system ‘requires fundamental changes’

Paddlers ride down the Yukon River in the annual Chili and Beans Race

‘We’re always trying to find ways to keep people active’

Gymkhana tests Yukon horses and riders

‘I don’t ever want somebody to leave feeling like they didn’t accomplish some kind of goal’

Whitehorse volunteers turn to GoFundMe to raise cash for thrift store

The Whitehorse Community Thrift Store is hoping to raise $70,000 in ‘seed money’

The air up there: why you should buy a plane

Hell is other people. If you own a plane you can fly away from them

What to ask when you take your car to the shop

A visit to your garage, tire shop, dealership or repair shop can… Continue reading

Whitehorse resident Steve Roddick announces bid for council

Housing, consultation top list of priorities

Cozens, Team Canada off to strong start at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Canada rolls through Switzerland and Slovakia to set up showdown with Sweden

Selkirk First Nation says chinook salmon numbers similar to last year’s

Sonar on the Pelly River had counted just more than 7,900 chinook as of Aug. 5

Most Read