The Yukon government is spending $3.6 million in 2018-19 on a new pot of money to help fund more housing in the territory including affordable rentals and supportive housing units. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Yukon government launches new housing fund

Groups can apply for up to $500,000 for affordable rentals, supportive or transitional housing

The Yukon government is spending $3.6 million in 2018-19 on a new pot of money to help fund more housing in the territory including affordable rentals and supportive housing units.

The government is promising the New Housing Initiatives Fund will continue handing out cash each year from 2018 to 2023.

“We’d like to see people use their skills and see how we can meet the housing demand in an affordable and modest way,” said Marc Boucher, Yukon Housing’s director of community partnering and lending.

The money is available as a capital grant for new housing developments or a new rent supplement attached to new units, according to the government.

It can be used for mixed-use market and affordable rentals, new construction or the conversion of a building from a non-residential use to affordable residential units. Shelters, transitional and supportive housing also qualifies.

First Nation governments and development corporations, non-profit sectors and the private sector can apply for the money.

Boucher said the rent will have to be kept at or below the median rent for 20 years to qualify. Projects being proposed in Whitehorse must have at least four units. Projects in the communities have to have at least two.

When it comes to money for building, organizations can get up to $50,000 per unit up a maximum of $500,000. Timelines and amounts for a rental supplement “will be considered by project,” according to the government’s application webpage.

The deadline to apply for this year’s funding is June 29. Organizations have 18 months to spend the money they get, Boucher said.

Starting next year applications will be due in January, he said, to help proponents plan for the Yukon’s construction season.

Boucher said Yukon Housing is reaching out to organizations that might be interested to let them know that the money is available.

Yukon Housing is having an information session for interested organizations on June 15 from 11 a.m. to noon at its Whitehorse offices. People in the communities will be able to call in. Anyone who wants to attend should call the office to register.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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