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

City of Whitehorse tells taxi passengers who feel unsafe to not travel alone

Suggestion criticized by advocates for placing burden of safety on passengers, not taxi companies

Whitehorse’s new emergency room slated to open in early January

40,000-square-foot building will be more efficient, officials say

Judge finds Whitehorse man not guilty of raping teen in 2015 after second trial

Judge Raymond Wyant found Jackie James Kodwat not guilty of sexual assault.

Whitehorse’s sidewalks are a deathtrap

In the interest of safety and simplicity, the city should just plow the sidewalks

Police, coroner investigating suspicious death in Pelly Crossing

Investigators have ordered an autopsy, which will take place in Vancouver Dec. 18

Two Yukon projects shortlisted for the Arctic Inspiration Prize

Projects from Whitehorse, Carcross up for cash

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon needs a better plan for long-term care

The government can find solutions if it has the will. Does it have the will?

Hard travel over the Yukon’s winter trails

The overland trip to Dawson City today is a cakewalk compared to a century ago

Globalization infiltrates the Yukon’s recycling bins

You’re going to have to do a better job sorting your junk or else China won’t take it

Driving during the holidays

It’s hectic on the roads at Christmastime

Whitehorse council chambers needs new audio-visual equipment

‘More than 10 people’ watch city’s televised meetings

Most Read