Whitehorse Daily Star

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HOUSING SHORTAGE ACKNOWLEDGED – Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and Liberal MLA Ranj Pillai explain their party’s housing policy this morning on the parcel of land at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street.

Liberals vow to create 1,000 new lots in half-decade

The Yukon Liberals are reaching deep into their election grab bag today with ambitious new promises on housing.

By Tim Giilck on March 22, 2021

The Yukon Liberals are reaching deep into their election grab bag today with ambitious new promises on housing.

At a news conference held this morning in Whitehorse, Liberal Leader Sandy Silver said “a re-elected Liberal government will ramp up action to increase housing availability throughout the Yukon by:

• Developing and releasing 1,000 new lots in the next five years and establish a land bank for housing lots.

• Build the Yukon’s next Housing First project in Watson Lake.

• Support a new Community Land Trust through a land parcel grant, which would create permanently affordable housing through a rent-to-own or facilitated ownership model.

• Continue to work with the private sector to develop the land parcel at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street in downtown Whitehorse, ensuring the development increases the amount of available housing, including rentals.

• Work with the private sector and the City of Whitehorse to consider relocating the grader station in the Marwell area of Whitehorse, and remediating the land to enable future development for housing.

• Work with First Nations and private sector partners in Whitehorse to investigate the development of a new, bare land condominium mobile home park.

• Increase energy efficiency rebates available for mobile homeowners and support a transition to electrical heating.

“Stable, affordable housing is foundational to the health and wellbeing of all Yukoners,” Silver said.

“Our Liberal government took a multi-faceted approach to address Yukon’s housing pressures following years of inaction by previous governments. We need to keep this progress going to provide more options for Yukon’s growing population,” the premier added.

“Housing is important to all Yukoners. We know that safe, secure housing is a necessity for people. We also know that there is a spectrum of housing needs, and one of those needs is better access to housing.”

Silver said the government has “made improving access to housing a priority.

“We know that, despite great progress in the last 4½ years, there is more that needs to be done, especially as our population continues to grow.”

The Liberals’ news conference was held on the land parcel at Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street.

“This land behind me is just over two hectares of prime real estate in our downtown core,” Silver said.

“We started work on this lot during our mandate. We worked hand-in-hand with the City of Whitehorse over the last two years to get to a point where we could put forward a public expression of interest to potential developers.

“That went out last fall. We will continue to work with those companies to have a development agreement in place very quickly.”

Silver took a moment to criticize the Yukon NDP and some of its campaign promises on housing.

“The NDP are only committing to the construction of 250 affordable housing units over the next four years,” the Liberal leader said.

“Our commitment to more accessible and affordable housing is a great example of the choice Yukon voters have in this election.”

It didn’t take long for White to respond.

“What I wanted to hear from the Liberals today was that they were going to step up to protect renters who are struggling with housing prices, help mobile home owners save money by protecting them from huge pad rent increases, and deliver more affordable housing units,” she said.

“I think a lot of people are going to feel let down by today’s announcement. I really don’t understand why they would choose to stand on a lot they left empty for four years, just to announce no new protections for the people who are hurting most from this housing crisis,” said the NDP leader.

“We’re going to protect renters and build more affordable housing that’s accessible to everyone in the Yukon.”

Liberal MLA Ranj Pillai added to Silver’s comments.

“Our team will keep this work going,” he said.

“A re-elected Liberal government will ramp up action to increase housing availability by developing and releasing 1,000 new lots in the next five years and establish a land bank for housing lots, to get ahead of the demand.

“We recognize that we need to look for new, creative solutions to the housing situation.” the deputy premier added.

“That is why we are committing to work with the private sector and the City of Whitehorse to consider relocating the grader station in the Marwell area of Whitehorse, and remediating the land to enable future development for housing.”

Pillai also promised a new “Community Land Trust through a land parcel grant. This concept will create permanently affordable housing through a rent-to-own or facilitated ownership model,” he explained.

Comments (40)

Up 14 Down 1

Jim on Mar 28, 2021 at 11:43 am

@chloe, so according to you it’s better to accept a procurement policy, even if it’s flawed, lacked consultation, economic uncertainty than think maybe the other party sees no problem with the existing policy. Maybe your OK with the Old Crow health centre being 20% over budget under part of this new point driven policy. That equates to $7 million dollars that could have been used for all sorts of needed projects such as housing crisis or opioid crisis. But you keep worrying about the what if’s or keep looking for the other gifts the Liberals keep promising to buy your vote.

Up 7 Down 2

Skeptic on Mar 27, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Governments have chosen to control land available for housing. Therefore they have a responsibility to provide what voters want where possible. This means big lots, small lots, country residential... They shouldn’t do this at a loss.
Wonder if these 1000 new lots will offer the choices that citizens want.

Up 17 Down 6

Wilf Carter on Mar 27, 2021 at 11:00 am

Why can't liberals except they are just failures at a lot of important items that Yukoners need, like housing.
As far as economic development, Ranj was the person who created the problem by mismanaging the housing issues.

When it comes to investing in mining Yukon went from number one to number four because of liberals poor management. SASK is number one far as mining goes and Ontario is second - both managed by good governments

Up 17 Down 44

CaptainObvious on Mar 26, 2021 at 11:15 am

The YP faithful have infiltrated the commentors on this site to try influence public opinion. To state the obvious, this heavy YP skew does not represent public opinion.

Up 24 Down 10

Charlie's Aunt on Mar 25, 2021 at 4:47 pm

Maybe the word half is in wrong place in headline and it should read 'Liberals vow to create 1,000 new half lots in a decade.'

Up 20 Down 8

ElleEye on Mar 25, 2021 at 2:20 pm

How about investing in upgrading the already existing housing that is in dire need of upgrading? Offer incentives to the landlords renting their decrepit 'homes'.

Up 42 Down 19

jack on Mar 25, 2021 at 9:06 am

Wearing such expensive jackets too.....the kind only the public sector can afford!!

Up 13 Down 47

Life long Yukoner on Mar 24, 2021 at 10:44 pm

I cannot believe the level of desperation that the con trolls will stoop to to try and convince Yukoners that somehow or other the Liberals are this big boogie person who is soooo bad. How soon they forget some of the atrocities under previous governments. I have lived here a long time and by far the worst governments for everyday working Yukoners, First Nations, the water, the environment in general are the cons. The only things they care about is getting their hands on the Federal transfer payments and to grease the wheels for contracting opportunities for the friends. Skirting environments rules that protect Yukon land and water, like they are the only interest here.
Why any reasonable fair minded person would vote for them is truly a mystery. They represent the right wing of the voting public and they are sounding more and more like their cousins to the south. Just look at some of the comments in this little website from the con trolls, under that fun loving group are some hard line views that rear their ugly head every once in a while. That sort of thinking always leads to bad outcomes.

Up 52 Down 10

Groucho d;North on Mar 24, 2021 at 3:16 pm

There has been a perfectly adequate procurement policy in place for a number of decades and it has worked well, it was fair and achieved the primary goal of getting the best value for tax payer dollar while purchasing the required goods and services YG needs. The Silver Liberals decided to attempt some vote buying under the reconciliation umbrella that favors FN business operators. So perhaps your question would be better stated as: What will the other parties do to reconcile the positions of the First Nations?

Up 25 Down 42

Chloe on Mar 24, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Hello Jim, you mention the Liberals flawed procurement policy. Do you know what the Yukon Party's procurement policy is? No--neither does anyone else as Currie won't speak of it. Maybe they have not formulated one or even know what it is.

Up 29 Down 8

Groucho d'North on Mar 24, 2021 at 10:21 am

Looks like the Porter Creek D project will be a go if they get re-elected. I wonder if people will be more vocal during the consultations...if they happen at all.

Up 51 Down 16

Bud McGee on Mar 24, 2021 at 9:08 am

It's been a fun ride for the boys from Nova Scotia, but it's time for them to go.

Up 45 Down 9

JustSayin' on Mar 23, 2021 at 9:59 pm

Does that mean there are going to be 1000 more government jobs opening up?

Up 27 Down 14

iBrian on Mar 23, 2021 at 8:14 pm

You want affordable housing,
Heat with a wood stove, ignore most of the building code, build with log.
Housing is a Basic Human Right. Clean, Warm and Secure.

Up 45 Down 11

Mad Trapper of Riverdale on Mar 23, 2021 at 7:38 pm

Don't they realize that's a landslide zone?? And if there were all these magical lots available, wouldn't the Libs have taken action on this with their majority mandate the last 4 and 1/2 years??

I know used car salesmen I trust more than these clowns!

Up 34 Down 16

Won’t get fooled again! on Mar 23, 2021 at 5:14 pm

They will be leased lots. You will own nothing and you will be happy... At least the stupid ones will be... Giggly with excitement even... When nobody else is around even... The lunatic is in... I nominate The Who’s - Won’t get fooled again as the electorates 2021 theme song - No more Liberals, No more Liberals, No more Liberals!

Up 59 Down 19

Beaker on Mar 23, 2021 at 3:46 pm

April 1st gas will go up due to Trudeaus carbon tax hike, remember the one he said he wouldn’t raise at this point. Sprinting towards financial ruin. Due to his carbon crusade everything April 1st will be on the rise save your income...and where is Slippery Silver...crickets.

Up 68 Down 15

joe and jane on Mar 23, 2021 at 2:07 pm

More liberal spin.... 1000 lots in 5 years is joke. For over ten years now lands branch was supposed to keep a minimum inventory of two hundred lots per year. This announcement is just more liberal fluff and everyone sees right through it.

Up 67 Down 9

The Real Just Sayin' on Mar 23, 2021 at 9:43 am

Ah, the affordable housing allusion used as a method to obtain votes.
Progress has been made, but housing continues to become less and less affordable.

We've heard many, many promises from the government regarding affordable housing, as we've been waiting a long, long time for the government to fulfill it's promise. Every year we wait diminishes the government's credibility.

Up 23 Down 88

Unbiased Opinion on Mar 23, 2021 at 1:27 am

I've just got to say, the Liberals sure look good at this point for all voters.

Up 73 Down 15

How many carbon tax rebate cheques were sent out? on Mar 23, 2021 at 1:12 am

Why didn't the Yukon opt out of the carbon tax like NWT for heavy fuels?

If this is about the environment then why does the Yukon allow diesel gens to be used?
Why didn't Silver recommend against the new Carbon tax hike come April 1st, 2021, especially since we're in a state of emergency?

"We are in a state of emergency and we are in this together! However we're going to raise your taxes on carbon and still not explain that whole "neutral" amount"

I dare you to audit where the money went. LOL.

Up 62 Down 19

jack on Mar 22, 2021 at 11:45 pm

Am I the only one to think that, given the level of house prices and population growth, 1,000 new lots in 5 years isn't really that much?

Up 58 Down 9

Adam Smith on Mar 22, 2021 at 11:35 pm

No way. Where? Is Long Lake in play? Thinking this hot air balloon announcement is missing a 'subject to consultation' disclaimer.
The issue is these lots cost 200K. We (the people) need to pay this. Why?

Up 39 Down 20

Wilf Carter on Mar 22, 2021 at 10:57 pm

Got love it Yukoners. Larry Bagnell promised $950 million for community development. Before the last election where is it?
Old liberal trick blame someone else for their land and housing mess over the last 4.5 years. Let's compare how much housing money went to the Yukon Party when it was in power.

$50 million Northern housing trust with $32.5 million going to FNs.
Over $350 million invested on land development and private sector housing. $150 on public housing. It is all in the records but liberals don't want to know the facts as they are.

How much are these 1,000 lots going to cost Sandy and Ranj?
Where are they going to be developed?
How much are they going to cost per lot for the private sector?
Yukon liberal government is using the sale of lots to make money off them to have more revenues to waste.
Why did liberals create such a mess in housing and land development in the Yukon?

Right now we are short 1800 different types of housing units in Yukon, mostly in Whitehorse.
In 5 years giving the growth trends a 1,000 lots will leave us behind by 1500 lots in 5 years.

The problem here was created by Federal and Yukon government not taking housing as an important future need. Same as the mayor of Whitehorse who just did nothing. Can you imagine Feds putting in $2.5 million a year into housing in the Yukon when the Yukon Party had set up the Yukon to grow over a 10 years period, which is documented in record of our growth patterns.

We are short 350 to 400 public housing units right now. 1,000 lots will mean 400 of them going for public housing and only 600 for private housing.

Given the past 4 years growth pattern for many different types of housing in Whitehorse we should have had 300 lots developed per year to just keep supply and demand. You want to develop 200 lots a year. That is not even keeping up with demands and we have a storage of up to 1200 lots now of different types.

Lets say if a mining company starts up a mine and employ 700 employees. Lets say 30% of the employees comes from the Yukon that = 210 employees from the Yukon. Where is the other 490 employees going to live in Yukon? In camps fly in and out? Economic development should be on top of this and have a plan in place 3 years ago.

Or do we really want mining any more?

Up 70 Down 15

Mike on Mar 22, 2021 at 8:39 pm

Liberals Vow: That word vow with the word Liberal is a hypocrisy in itself. The Liberals have vowed broken those vows. Vowed to never break another vow and continue to lie. There is NO CREDIBILITY to this Government whatsoever and their Vows are a liberal way to LIE. Safer rural communities, thousands of lots, cheaper day care, blah, blah, blah, far to little, far to late. Sandy and his team of bandits have left us in massive dept., granted jobs without proper tender process and blamed everyone but themselves for the state of the TERRITORY. Never again will a Liberal Government convince me that they are anything short of unaccountable for all the back door deals and shady business investments they've made.

Up 53 Down 14

Jim on Mar 22, 2021 at 8:06 pm

Nothing the Liberals will say surprises anyone anymore. On one hand they extend a state of emergency while calling an election. The reason they give is their budget. Are they not a majority government? Now promising the moon and the stars and trying to convince everyone how great they did the last 4 years. The other 2 parties are doing the same as I guess everyone is selling their vote by how much free money they get. Hey people, there is no such thing as free money.
We should be concentrating on how well the government functions, not how fast they can spend money. Last week we saw YG spend almost 20% more than budgeted on a health centre the day before calling an election. Pretty expensive seat. That $7 million could have built a lot of affordable units. How about no consultation on their flawed procurement policy. How about telling us when government will be back to work so that every time you try and get something done, your not told that individual is working from home. I am putting some faith in my fellow citizens that will hopefully look past all the shiny things and judge each candidate by policy. And remember, no matter if a candidate is a friend or sympathetic to your needs, they will tow the party line.

Up 78 Down 9

TMYK on Mar 22, 2021 at 7:59 pm

So how exactly are they planning to supply electricity to 1000 new lots? We don’t have enough to supply the ones we have now.

Up 58 Down 13

Yukoner once upon a time on Mar 22, 2021 at 7:24 pm

Mouth open and spewing a pile of “promises” that they have no real intention of keeping nor any idea how to pay for them is not unique to the liberals, all the parties are the same. The liberals right now have a leader who thinks money grows on trees why would they not promise the world.

Up 59 Down 21

Jeff Johns on Mar 22, 2021 at 7:14 pm

Why? So the rich can buy them up and rent them out to us poor folk? This fake economy with uncontrollable real estate prices is creating a dim future with a lot more losers then winners. Congratulations on your house being worth 1 million dollars now when you only paid $150k, you won the real estate lottery. Subdivide that up quick so you can make even more money. A house or land shouldn't be looked at as the stock market.
People have a right to a home and what is being created right now in front of our eyes is disgusting. And every branch of government who refuses to acknowledge this is a traitor to this country, period. But I know I will be down-voted by all these real estate winners, I don't really care. Why do you think immigration is being pumped up? Because this is all a ponzi scam, and you always need new suckers to keep it afloat. Ask yourselves why all across Canada this (uncontrollable real estate prices) is happening, not just the Yukon, especially during a pandemic? But hey, it's just business as usual right? Keep telling yourself that. The bank of Canada is as federal as the federal reserve. We are owned by private banks that are not answerable to anyone, which is downright scary. Back in the day we used to print our own money, but history is a boring subject anyway.

"You will own nothing and be happy" The Great Reset probably.

Up 68 Down 10

iota on Mar 22, 2021 at 6:06 pm

Consider that the liberals have added almost 600 FTE's in 5 years, and have a habit of hiring out of Ontario, it's pretty obvious the housing crisis has been created by government. Skyrocketing prices because YG has kept the supply down for years. And now we're going to subsidize more affordable housing to compensate? Is anyone paying attention?

Up 52 Down 12

TMYK on Mar 22, 2021 at 5:39 pm

So basically the liberals are saying that if you elected them two more times they may get around to fixing the housing crisis.

Up 50 Down 14

Joe on Mar 22, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Hahaha, more liberal fluff. Give up already, we have you figured out. 5 years later “ we’ll build 1000 lots” if you vote for us again .....haha.

Up 51 Down 9

Property Owner.... Ooh... Ahhh... on Mar 22, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Are those similar to the plots sold to those wanting to be a Scottish Lord? Will there be enough room to stand on your property? Do you get a free Liberal Party membership with purchase and an official Cancel Culture ID/Badge?

Cant imagine what the taxes and fees on that will be...

Up 61 Down 13

Olav on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:56 pm

And they have done what for this problem over the last 4 1/2 years?
And now they promise 1000 - yep you heard that right “one thousand”
new lots. From ZERO to 1000- impressive!

Give me a break Sandy.
There should be a law against false promises at election time.

Up 58 Down 12

Thomas Brewer on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm

So like - why didn't you start this in the first 3 years of your mandate?
Liebrals one and all.

Up 62 Down 12

Wes on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:12 pm

I’ll vote for the party that makes a commitment to reduce the size of the territorial government work force and reduce the bloated salaries that make it:
a-hard for the private sector to compete and
b-enables the ridiculous real estate bubble we’re in.

Up 32 Down 34

LE on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:05 pm

June you dinosaur. COVID is real, face the facts. The adults are managing it.
I challenge you to say one positive thing about anything. ONE positive thing. I've yet to see it. Your family must be tired of it ll, I'm sure.

Up 44 Down 15

TheHammer on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:04 pm

The liberals are planning to overpopulate the Territory.

Up 60 Down 14

Because you couldn't have already done that on Mar 22, 2021 at 4:01 pm

Why is this coming out around election time?
"Oh! we suddenly can promise to do these things."


Up 84 Down 47

Juniper Jackson on Mar 22, 2021 at 3:24 pm

There is no surprise at anything a Liberal says. They just open their mouths and say anything. Keep me locked down and masked you SOBs.

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