Efforts are continuing on a project that could eventually bring 150 housing lots to Whitehorse in an area called Copper Ridge West off Falcon Drive.
The Yukon government announced Nov. 28 that it had signed a $2.5-million loan agreement with Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s (KDFN) development corporation, for the first of three phases of the residential development.
The loan is being provided through the territory’s Developer Build Loan Program, which was expanded recently to include financing for residential land development as well as residential construction projects.
The project is expected to create more than 150 lots for single-detached homes, duplexes and townhouses over the three phases.
Whitehorse city council approved the rezoning, from future development to a single family zone, for the first two phases, near Aquamarine Place, in August.
Phase 1 is expected to create 25 single detached or duplex lots with work to get underway during the 2023 construction season. Phase two is expected to create more than 70 lots with work on that to begin at a later date.
The territory said the project will mark the first large-scale housing development on First Nations settlement land in the Yukon; helping to “unlock the economic benefits” of final and self-government agreements while also addressing the housing shortage in the city.
“This historic intergovernmental residential project lays the groundwork for much needed, market-friendly housing solutions on Kwanlin Dün First Nation settlement land in the City of Whitehorse,” Chu Níikwän CEO Rick O’Brien said in a statement. “Finding a new way to work together represented many real challenges and would not have been possible without unprecedented cooperation from all parties. This development provides a solid framework for other Yukon First Nations to pursue and build upon and I am very proud to be a part of it.”
KDFN Chief Doris Bill echoed that sentiment.
“Strong partnerships are the foundation of successful projects,” she said. “As Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s development corporation, Chu Níikwän is continuing to build on past success and realize the economic potential of our final and self-government agreements. This project will make more residential lots available for Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s citizens and for Yukoners.”
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