Lot owners stranded by snapped up Yukon Housing mortgages

In just 30 days, home buyers snapped up a year's worth of Yukon Housing mortgages -- leaving some financially strapped lot owners in the lurch.

In just 30 days, home buyers snapped up a year’s worth of Yukon Housing mortgages—leaving some financially strapped lot owners in the lurch.

Marco Marjanovic and wife Meaghan couldn’t get bank financing, but purchased their Whitehorse Copper lot after receiving assurances Yukon Housing would cover their mortgage in the spring.

“Now we’re stuck with a lot—and no financing,” said Marjanovic.

Geoff Sicotte and several friends entered the lottery for Whitehorse Copper lots knowing they probably wouldn’t be able to afford a bank-financed mortgage.

“But Yukon Housing said, ‘Oh, no worries, you just come to us in the spring and you can get a mortgage with us and everything will be OK,” said Sicotte.

Yukon Housing has a yearly budget of $6 million to provide people who can’t get bank financing with up to a $360,000 mortgage. Applicants still require a good credit history and steady income.

“I don’t want to say that the programs are cancelled, per se, but the home-ownership programs are now fully committed,” said Ron MacMillan, president of Yukon Housing.

A program to provide financing to builders of green homes has also run dry.

In early November, Yukon Housing was forced to turn away applicants after its 2008 budget was exhausted.

Mortgage hopefuls were told to wait until April 1, when they would have a shot at the next budget cycle.

“We will honour all applications to date, and there will be more to come in the new fiscal year,” said Premier Dennis Fentie on November 5.

“The spring comes around, and everybody’s trying to get mortgages from them and they kept saying, ‘Just wait ‘til April, just wait ‘til April,” said Sicotte.

Claiming they were being “led on” by Yukon Housing, both applicants saw their 60-day grace periods expire.

“We were waiting on Yukon Housing, and they kept pushing the dates back, pushing the dates back,” said Marjanovic.

Only a few weeks later, both applicants were told that, due to popularity, mortgage funding had run dry.

“(Lot buyers) were told, ‘Come in after the budget is tabled. We’ll have more money and we can get you on your way to building your new home,’” said Liberal MLA Gary McRobb in the legislature on Monday.

“Instead, they were informed last week these programs are not available.”

“The money has been there,” said Jim Kenyon, the minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corp. “The budget is tapped out. We have more money available in the future that will come up as we move along, but at the moment the program is tapped out.”

No promises or reassurances were made to individual property owners, said MacMillan.

“If individual owners have issues to discuss with the housing corporation, we will certainly discuss it with them,” he said.

As a stop-gap solution, Marjanovic and his wife plan to throw up a 650-square-foot dwelling on their Whitehorse Copper lot; the minimum size for a country residential lot.

“We’re going to live in it for three years, and during that time pay off our land,” said Marjanovic.

With clear title to the land, the couple expects to have a better time at the bank.

Sicotte hopes to explain the situation to the territorial government’s lands branch—which sold him the lot—and relinquish his land without a financial penalty.

Sicotte has $20,000 committed to the lot as a downpayment.

“Luckily I haven’t done much work on (my lot), other people have put $20,000 into starting their driveways expecting to get this mortgage in the spring,” he said.

Contact Tristin Hopper at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Whitehorse musher Hans Gatt crosses the 2021 Yukon Journey finish line in first place at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Feb. 26. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Whitehorse musher Hans Gatt crosses the 2021 Yukon Journey finish line in first place at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Feb. 26. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Hans Gatt wins inaugural 2021 Yukon Journey

The Yukon Journey, a 255-mile race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse, kicked off on Feb. 24

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities