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

Greyhound’s plans to axe B.C., Yukon bus routes get approved

Company says B.C. services have lost $70M over last decade

YG slow to reveal tender info for new public contracts

Work will be exempt from national free-trade rules

Plenty of Yukon talent in KIJHL playoffs

8 Yukoners playing on teams in the big dance

How suite it is: Whitehorse council mulls amendment to allow suites where they’re currently banned

Coun. Dan Boyd fears move a slippery slope to more affordable housing

No Resource Gateway construction work this season, YG says

‘We’re not as advanced as we would have liked to have been but we still are advancing’

Man who sexually abused girls a good candidate for treatment, eventual release, psychiatrist says

Dr. Shabreham Lohrasbe is an expert witness in the dangerous offender hearing for the man

Robots don’t rule over us yet, but they do sell lunch

Not everyone will be taken into the future, as Ilya Kabakov once said

YG seeks to ease neighbourhood concerns over housing first project

YG will consult more once design for downtown building is complete

Yukon skiers race to victory at Sima Cup

‘The snow conditions, the visibility and the grooming were out of the ordinary’

Cold weather hampers Babe Southwick Memorial Race

‘It was nice to see people out there because we didn’t expect as many volunteers to show up’

Yukon war memorial hidden in Vancouver

A dramatic and beautiful memorial to the fallen of World War I is not well known to Yukoners today

Of ravens, eagles, livers and lead

Environment Yukon’s animal health unit has been testing livers of scavenging birds since 2013

Most Read