Whitehorse Daily Star

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Coun. Steve Roddick

City asked to agree to charges reduction

City council is being asked to approve a $91,770 reduction in development cost charges for a housing development at 213 Keno Way in the Whistle Bend subdivision.

By Whitehorse Star on July 22, 2021

City council is being asked to approve a $91,770 reduction in development cost charges for a housing development at 213 Keno Way in the Whistle Bend subdivision.

The housing proposal calls for 42 apartment units in four buildings, says the administrative report presented to council at its meeting Monday.

The units would be mainly two-bedroom ones, with a few studio units.

The proposed reduction in development cost charges is being made under the city’s Housing Development Incentive Policy.

“In response to council’s strategic priorities on housing, this policy is meant to encourage rental and supportive housing and smaller, denser housing forms in targeted areas,’ says the report.

City administration is recommending the $91,770 incentive be approved.

Council is scheduled to vote on the recommendation at its meeting on the coming Monday.

To be eligible under the incentive policy, developments must involve a minimum of 40 units.

Coun. Steve Roddick told his council colleagues Monday the city is in a housing crisis.

Comments (14)

Up 0 Down 1

Norbert on Jul 28, 2021 at 5:43 am

If I was casting a play for the tourists with a turn of two centuries ago I might want to try and cast Councillor Roddick as Sergeant Preston.

Up 0 Down 0

Francis on Jul 28, 2021 at 5:37 am

@Martin, I believe you may be in error as the powers that be are developing lots of subdivisions like Mtn. View because there is no such subdivision.

Up 12 Down 0

Max Mack on Jul 26, 2021 at 12:30 pm

It's obvious that no level of government has any sincere desire to solve the "housing crisis". How many years has this been going on without any meaningful progress?

CoW is determined to turn Whitehorse into a carbon copy of all the other sh**hole cities, i.e. "densified" housing with no parking and increasingly bizarre infrastructure designed to discourage people from owning and driving motor vehicles. Whitehorse . . . the "wilderness city". What a joke. Imagine trying to enjoy the "wilderness" on public transit.

Accordingly, land supply is being deliberately throttled by GY and CoW.

Yukon Housing and their ideologically minded planners at all levels of government are determined to regulate new residential construction so that it is simply impossible to build cheaply. All of these burdensome regulations simply shove money into contractors' pockets.

And the amount of money being poured into developers' and FN pockets is completely without accounting. Not one member of the public knows how much is being gifted by way of grants, loans, subsidies, tax/charge reductions, contracting policies, etc. Yet, I believe that not one dollar of this free money is used to actually reduce the cost of housing as developers simply pocket the profit.

I don't know. Maybe GY and FNs and CoW can hire a few more thousand workers from down south. That should solve the housing crisis. Smirk. But, it will guarantee lots of demand for those "progressive" condos being built all over downtown with our tax dollars.

Up 25 Down 2

Nathan Living on Jul 23, 2021 at 5:35 pm

Please stop giving our money away.
Generally builders make money so why be so generous with our tax dollars and please rethink how many people cannot afford these new housing options.

It's time to rethink how we can help people who are trying to enter the market with incomes which are on the lower end.

Up 32 Down 1

Juniper Jackson on Jul 23, 2021 at 3:39 pm

I don't like to provide MY money, and yeah, I pay taxes, my landlord jacks my rent every time taxes and utilities goes up. So..when council goes handing off MY money to private enterprise, all the rest of the taxpayers get to make that up. Everyone remember Yukon Gardens? uh huh. The Golf course? If you want to go into business, say, the business of building a house, why expect everyone else to kick in their tax money to help you do it? If you can't make a go of your business..shut it down and start something else.

Up 21 Down 2

Oya on Jul 23, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Why are development grants for rentals only considered in certain "targeted areas" when the housing situation is SO dire that rentals are needed anywhere and everywhere?
Please, COW, change the rules to offer incentives to develop rentals in all areas of Whitehorse and not just in Whistlebend and/or the downtown area!
Some renters WANT country res, for example. Maybe some of the country res folks would consider densifying their 2+ acre lots to help the situation if offered incentive to build a rental.
Why aren't ALL garden suites offered incentives? The old two birds with one stone thing.... more rentals AND more density! More supply of rentals will drive the price of rentals down which means more affordable housing. More density equals more tax revenue. Win, win.

Like Mandeep says, this issue has been on EVERY government's agenda for well over 10 years without any movement forward. Let's do something to change that! NOW... not next year, not next council, not next election.... stop waiting for someone else to do your jobs!

Up 25 Down 4

martin on Jul 23, 2021 at 8:29 am

Big speeches on housing crisis at City Hall (for the last 10 years, at least) but no-action. If the City and/or Gov would like to help, they could develop more subdivisions like Arkell and Mtn View. Low cost lots and Prefab homes would be a start.

Up 0 Down 9

close on Jul 23, 2021 at 1:43 am

Ccompanies advertise roles for the skills they want to be brought in. Candidates can satisfy them by merely having a comprehension of them and having confidence to assist in bringing them in.

Up 26 Down 0

Adam Smith on Jul 23, 2021 at 12:32 am

This is corporate welfare. A private developer is seeking additional profits. COW please move on.

Or.. let the purchasers of these units get a 91K credit on their property taxes.

Up 23 Down 2

Nathan Living on Jul 22, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Maybe defer this to a new council that may have a better perspective.

Up 29 Down 4

Joe on Jul 22, 2021 at 8:22 pm

Council is so out of touch with reality. We’re not in a housing crisis, we’re in a strong housing market. Guess what, when the economy is driven by governments and a large federal welfare check, free medical, back door immigration program and all kinds of other free goodies; people come.

Up 25 Down 4

M.deep on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

I hope you remember this when other developments come online. As councillors Roddick, Stick and Cabbott are working against development.

There is such a serious disconnect from Councilors and the public in Whitehorse. I’ll take up one specific matter. Housing. This necessary right has become absolutely astronomical in respect to pricing. We hear the comment “affordable housing.” I remember this being a “hot topic” when I ran for mayor in 2012. Here we are 9 years later and I’m stuck asking the same question:
“What is affordable housing?” When I ran for mayor, I didn’t think of rentals. I specifically targeted people and their “first homes.” It became apparent that “buying a lot and building a house…” is simply out of the budget of most individuals. However, there is a large portion of the population in Whitehorse that could afford to move onto a “better” home. This would allow more single family detached homes onto the market.
The question is/was- how do you incentivize people to sell their 3–5-bedroom family home? Well, you have to offer them something better. For the elderly, condo’s offer a home that requires less maintenance and gives them a manageable space. The downside is their home usually ends up getting passed down into family. So, this doesn’t really free up the market.
Another option is to move people out of their first home, who may still have children at home, but find that “living in the modern world…” means that their current home doesn’t fit with their lifestyle. All of those recreational toys, a deck, a lawn, 3 to 4 vehicles. Simply put, the houses are too small. We see this happening all over Porter Creek, Crestview, Riverdale, Hillcrest, etc. Homes are dense with the “objects of living.”
A benefit to Whitehorse would be to allow LARGE residential lots with single detached homes. The tank farm is an ideal location for that style of subdivision. One major benefit is it would allow people that are “cramped” in their space to buy a lot and build a home that suits their needs. If those people moved into newer homes, then that would leave those former houses up for sale. I obviously have a vested interest in the tank farm, however, objectively, it’s frustrating to hear a council member speak of trying to deal with the housing issue and not look at ready to develop, viable land, that meets the requirements necessary.
Certain councilors that tout their “concern for housing,” are the same ones voting down this project and trying to micromanage a development that they haven’t been a drop of sweat into. Council has worked hard to stop this project and are specifically trying to emphasize densification. A major benefit to Whitehorse is being held up by the egos of a few councilors that have never asked to see the development plans, have never had a meeting with the developer and their team, yet they are the most vocal against it. A little bit of knowledge can have a detrimental effect and that’s never been shown more aptly than in this case. I appreciate the support we’ve seen from administration and some of the councilors. But to that group that is a mouth piece for paradox and a vessel for hypocrisy, your self serving aggrandizement is having a detrimental effect on our City.

Up 46 Down 3

Matthew on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Yes, we know we're in a MASSIVE housing crisis. But spending 400K on a 2 bedroom apt does NOT help anything what so ever. At the most these should cost 200K. That's affordability these days. (Sadly enough)

Up 47 Down 2

Thomas Brewer on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Who is applying for this incentive?
What's the guarantee that this will remain 'rental and supportive housing'?

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