A 47-unit housing development at Fourth Avenue and Jeckell Street officially opened its doors on Jan. 19.
It was heralded by government officials as the first community housing residential complex of its size to open in the territory, with $21 million in funding from the federal and territorial governments. The federal government put in $5.2 million with the territory providing the remaining $15.8 million.
Under the community housing model, a mix of different household types will be at home in the building, Premier Ranj Pillai said, noting seniors, families, couples and single people of different income levels are among the building’s tenants.
“Community housing is about more than providing housing to those in need,” he said. “It’s about fostering social integration and networks of support. It’s about building high quality housing and amenities in good locations that are available to us.”
While COVID-19 delayed the completion and impacted the budget, it was noted significant efforts went into getting it done as soon as possible.
The building features 14 bachelor units, 16 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units for low-income and vulnerable families, seniors and individuals in need of stable, affordable housing, the government said in a statement. Nine are low barrier and accessible.
“These 47 new homes in Whitehorse will provide low-income Yukoners with stable and affordable housing,” Pillai said. “This project also marks progress towards our efforts to address the recommendations in the most recent auditor general report on housing. Furthermore, it helps realize the housing goals set out in the Housing Action Plan and the National Housing Strategy. Above all else, this new complex provides welcoming homes that strengthen the foundation for a flourishing and safe community.”
Pillai was joined by Yukon MP Brendan Hanley, Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, Whitehorse Mayor Laura Cabott and building resident Ashley Rose Ferguson along with her son Max in highlighting the work that has gone into the building and the impact it could have on residents.
As Ferguson said, the completion of the building marks a new beginning for her family and others who will call it home. While she expressed her thanks for the efforts to build the structure, she also urged Pillai and the government to continue work on the housing issue.
“Please continue building until no one is left out in the cold,” she said.
A phased-in approach will be taken as tenants move in.
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