A 10-year agreement worth nearly $60 million between the federal and Yukon governments will be put toward addressing a full range of housing needs in the territory.
Yukon MP Larry Bagnell and Pauline Frost, the territory’s minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corp. (YHC), signed off on the deal Thursday morning in the lobby of the Yukon Government Main Administration Building.
Details of what will be constructed, and when and where, will emerge later in the planning process.
“This is a significant funding agreement that will ensure we can provide Yukoners with safe, affordable and accessible homes that meet their needs,” Frost said.
“We are committed to working with our partners to tackle housing issues and provide Yukoners with adequate housing while respecting unique circumstances in each community in the territory.”
As it was stressed during the press conference, the cost-sharing agreement between the two governments will go toward implementing the Yukon Housing Action Plan.
It will involve efforts to expand the social housing stock and affordable housing options and working to maintain and improve the current housing supply.
“While we have much to celebrate, we have much to do,” Frost told reporters.
The federal and territorial governments are also set to work together to design and implement a new Canada Housing Benefit.
That will be an effort to provide affordability support to families and individuals in need of housing.
It’s expected further details on that will be made in a future announcement.
The agreement signed Thursday morning, it was noted, commits the two governments to high standards of transparency, public engagement, and housing quality – including improved energy efficiency and accessibility.
The agreement also highlights the “importance of prioritizing people most in need, incorporating a human rights-based approach to housing, and applying a gender lens to all investments.”
YHC president Pamela Hine said the housing corporation recognizes “there is a demand and need” for housing throughout the territory.
She noted the wait list for YHC units changes day to day depending on circumstances and by community.
The nearly $60 million in funding that was announced Thursday is made up of $41.96 million from the federal government and $17.96 million from the territory.
It comes in addition to $28.5 million worth of federal housing investments in Yukon that was announced earlier through the Social Housing Agreement over the next 10 years.
The combined investments will see new construction and the preservation of at least 543 existing community housing units in Yukon.
As well, a minimum of $40 million will be put toward building and repairing community and affordable housing in the Yukon through the $13.2-billion National
Housing Co-Investment Fund.
The National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $40-billion plan aiming to reduce or eliminate 530,000 families from housing need across the country.