A total of $1.4 million could be coming to the territory for housing projects.
On May 27, the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, which administers the Reaching Home program, put out an anticipatory call for proposals should the funding come through.
Reaching Home is a program funded by the federal government aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across the country.
Earlier this year, it was announced Reaching Home funding would go towards purchasing five mobile homes — three of which will be set up in collaboration with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the other two in collaboration with the Ross River Dena Council. Previously announced funding is also going to the Safe at Home campaign’s 100 Homes campaign, a housing stability coordinator, and Pride at Home’s hiring of community engagement staff.
The proposed federal budget identifies the additional $1.4 million for Reaching Home in the territory, but the budget has yet to be approved.
“This is a unique opportunity to buy, build or repair housing in which to provide individualized wrap-around support services to help vulnerable people stay securely housed,” Natalie Taylor, a Reaching Home program officer in Whitehorse, said in a statement. “We are hearing that with a lack of housing options available to people, support services need to be able to expand their capacity to meet the rising needs in the community.”
As recommended by the community advisory board, made up of representatives from a variety of organizations serving those who are homeless, the anticipated funding could be used for capital costs for permanent or transitional supported housing. Among the priorities identified are housing services, prevention and shelter, health and medical services, and client support services.
Funding, if approved, would be available for projects in all Yukon communities. Those eligible for funding would include non-governmental organizations, Indigenous governments and organizations, public health and educational institutions, municipalities, the territorial government and its agencies.
Support is available for those looking to submit applications.
“We know that completing a lengthy application is a challenge for organizations with stretched administrative capacity, so we are glad to offer support in writing and reviewing proposals,” Miasha Albisser, another Reaching Home program officer, said. “We hope all interested parties will be in touch so we can help ensure all applications are complete and submitted by the deadline of June 18.”
In an emailed statement Chantel Frances, another Reaching Home program officer, said applicants are expected to describe their plans in detail, “telling us how people are experiencing homelessness or (how) precarious housing will be helped.
“The application is detailed, so just answering the questions with care will provide all the information we need.”
A list of approved projects is anticipated in July.
Application forms are available on the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition website.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com