Currently privately owned, the Yukon government plans to purchase the lot at 22 Wann Road for use as transitional housing for older youth. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Whitehorse council seeks public input on proposed transitional home

Yukon government plans transitional housing for youth at Wann Road site

There will be a public input session about supportive housing in Porter Creek during the Feb. 26 council meeting.

Pat Ross, manager of land and building services with the City of Whitehorse, presented a report to council at the Feb. 19 standing committees meeting.

The report outlined administrative analysis on the property and its proposed use. Currently privately owned, the Yukon government plans to purchase the lot for use as transitional housing for older youth.

Located at Wann Road, the lot is a one-hectare property with RC2 zoning.

According to the zoning bylaw, RC2 is meant “to provide a single detached housing zone to provide an urban lifestyle in a rural setting on larger lots, but where municipal water and/or sewage disposal may be installed allowing the lot size to be reduced.”

In the past, the privately-owned property has operated as a bed and breakfast (allowable under RC2 zoning), with a four-room unit above the garage.

The application for “conditional use” would allow council to weigh in and assess how use of the property as supportive housing may impact the neighbourhood.

As a supportive housing facility, it would provide living space for up to 10 older youth, who would be supervised 24 hours a day by at least two staff, and sometimes three.

They would live in bedrooms, suites and semi-independent suites.

The report said this type of housing meets the OCP need for equitable housing in the city.

According to the report, that section of the OCP says social housing “should be integrated seamlessly into the community to provide an equitable access to services, amenities and green space. his allows citizens to age in place and become part of the community, providing opportunity and a positive environment for all residents, regardless of age, sex, race or income level.”

A letter summarizing the need for such a facility said there’s a gap in transitional support services for older adolescents in the territory.

“In addition to typical group home programming, the availability of semi-independent living units will mean that staff can support and assist youth on the journey from adolescence to young adulthood,” it said. “This will occur in a safe, structured environment that promotes autonomy and independence as youth develop the necessary knowledge, decision-making ability and other skills to be healthy, contributing Yukoners.”

A report on the Feb. 26 input session will be presented to council on March 5.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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