Houses are seen under construction in Whistle Band in May 2016. Figures from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics showed the rental vacancy rate in Whitehorse dropped to 1.7 per cent in April. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

‘No question’ about need for more affordable housing: YAPC

Rental vacancy rate drops to under two per cent in Whitehorse

High rental prices coupled with low vacancy rates make it hard for the financially challenged to find housing in the city, says the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.

YAPC has definitely noticed through its client base — many of whom are “low income folks who might not have support” — that the vacancy rate is “very low,” said Kristina Craig, co-ordinator for YAPC.

“There’s basically little to no housing for low income folks,” she said. “It’s distressing.”

Craig said other factors can make it even more difficult to find an affordable place to live in Whitehorse. It is “almost impossible,” for many low-income people to find a place to rent if, “you have a pet, smoke or have poor references.”

The vacancy rate in Whitehorse fell by one percentage point in April 2017, a recent report from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics says.

The vacancy rate for an apartment — a unit in a building with three or more rental units — dropped from three per cent in October 2016 to two per cent in April. The average vacancy rate for all types of apartments in Whitehorse was 1.7 per cent.

The median rent for an apartment like this remained steady at $1,000. This number is thought to be artificially lowered by tenants who have remained in apartments over time at relatively fixed rates and may actually be higher than statistically reported.

A 2016 report by YAPC lists a living wage in the Yukon to be $19.12 an hour, or for a family of four where both parents are working 35 hours a week, approximately $70,000 a year.

The recently released 2017 Whitehorse Citizens’ Survey showed that about 15.5 per cent of surveyed households made less than $50,000 last year.

“We need more affordable housing and more housing first initiatives so folks aren’t forced to live at a shelter,” Craig said.

“We need more housing, there’s no question about it.”

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser named to biathlon World Cup team

“It’s pretty exciting to actually make the World Cup”

Ross River Dena Council appeal set to be heard

Appeal judges are looking at a 2017 Yukon Supreme Court decision on Canada’s duty to negotiate

Yukon NDP questions the cost of the health department’s medical review

$1.5 million appears to be going towards a steering committee and a “Tiger Team”

Yukon government helps fund 10 new affordable housing projects

The projects, supported by the housing initiatives fund, will build 123 new affordable units

Score or spore?: Whitehorse man alleges he bought moldy weed

“What I’m upset about is their response to this”

EDITORIAL: Attention Whitehorse: shovel your sidewalks

For those who haven’t looked out a window this week, the snow… Continue reading

Youth boxers take home silver and gold medals

Alberta Sub-Novice Tournament, an introduction to competitive boxing, happened last weekend

Respite home offers a break to caregivers

Hillcrest home is a pilot project

Commentary: Lack of affordable housing in the Yukon is not about funds, but how we spend them

Why are we not building apartment complexes to serve the lower and lower-middle income bracket?

Driving with Jens: When should you plug your vehicle in?

You can probably still start your car without plugging it in at -25 C or colder, but you shouldn’t.

Yukonomist: Too far up the supply curve

Some copper mines come in and out of production as global demand for the metal surges and ebbs.

Juniors impress at Squash Yukon’s Early Bird Tournament

“Everyone arrived on time, lots of people stayed to spectate and cheer people on.”

Most Read