Mayoral candidate’s housing idea

If young people can't find an affordable place to live, they're going to leave the territory, said Whitehorse mayoral candidate Scott Howell.

If young people can’t find an affordable place to live, they’re going to leave the territory, said Whitehorse mayoral candidate Scott Howell.

He’d like to see the city and the territorial government work together to solve this problem by creating what he termed, a “lot guarantee.”

The idea is that people could build a house on a lot owned by the government, which would charge a nominal interest rate to the homeowner.

With lots in the new Whistle Bend subdivision expected to sell for more than $100,000, this would make building a house a lot more affordable, said Howell.

It would make home ownership attainable for young professionals and help loosen up a tight rental market, he said.

As a former realtor, Howell doesn’t see it being a problem from a business perspective, though it will take some “political will,” he said.

The Yukon government has a mandate to recoup 100 per cent of development costs of any new lot it sells, so for his idea to move forward he’d have to get the territory on board.

It might be a tough sell, said Howell,

Even if it doesn’t work, the hope is that it will get others thinking about ways to find solutions to the housing problem, he said.

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