Crystal Schick/Yukon News A house at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on Feb. 13 that will one day be a 16-unit building. Kirk Potter, the owner of a local construction company that secured Housing Initiative Fund funding, plans to demolish the bungalow home to create more housing.

YG announces money for 12 affordable housing projects

Successful applicants include Energy North and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Density in Whitehorse’s downtown core needs to be built up, according to the owner of a local construction company, and that’s going to happen a little bit more now that Energy North has secured funding for an affordable housing project from the Yukon government.

“When you start to build buildings now, the expenses are fairly onerous, and it just doesn’t make sense, economically, to go on your own and do it,” Kirk Potter said.

His company is one of 11 others that hooked funding from the Housing Initiative Fund, which earmarks $3.6 million each year for projects of this ilk.

This marks the third time the government has appealed to interested parties.

Other projects this year include ones located in Old Crow, Haines Junction and Mayo.

Ta’an Kwäch’än Council is another successful applicant. The government is in the middle of coming up with plans on how to use the money, according to a spokesperson.

As for Potter, he plans to demolish a vacant bungalow property on Cooke Street and build 16 units, 10 of which will be subsidized by the Yukon government. It’s these 10 that will be affordable. The rest, Potter said, will likely be higher-end homes.

He said that it has been capped at 16 because of parking woes downtown.

The company is slated to break ground this spring, said Potter, adding that the building will be energy efficient.

In order to qualify for the government money proposed projects in Whitehorse must include a minimum of four affordable units. There’s a minimum of one unit for projects in the communities.

Developers are eligible for up to $50,000 per affordable unit built in Whitehorse or $80,000 in rural areas, according to a press release.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

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