Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SETTING OUT THE CALLS – Neena Mackinnon, left, and Kate Mechan present the Safe at Home Society’s 10 Calls to Action on Tuesday at Rotary Peace Park.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

The press conference was followed by a community barbecue, with Bill Bruton, a Kwanlin Dün First Nation elder, as the presiding chef.

‘There is no excuse but to act with urgency’

The Safe at Home Society has released 10 Calls to Action in response to the serious homelessness crisis in Whitehorse.

By Whitehorse Star on August 10, 2022

The Safe at Home Society has released 10 Calls to Action in response to the serious homelessness crisis in Whitehorse.

The group hosted a community barbecue at lunchtime Tuesday at Rotary Peace Park to unveil the 10 calls, which include outlawing no-cause evictions.

They detail various actions that can be taken by the community and all levels of government to address what the soceity calls “the desperate need to keep Yukoners housed and out of homelessness.”

“Solving the homelessness crisis and ensuring that all Yukoners can stay housed once they have access to safe and appropriate housing requires a whole community approach,” said Kate Mechan, the society’s executive director.

“Co-ordination across all levels of government is necessary to address this issue; this is highlighted by the fact that we don’t explicitly mention the names of any particular government department or agency that is responsible for fulfilling the recommendations.”

The Whitehorse By-Name List is a real-time tool the society uses to prioritize and match people to housing.

The tool’s data say there were 206 local households and 64 children actively experiencing homelessness as of July.

“This steady increase in numbers of people actively experiencing homelessness is concerning,” Mechan added.

“With winter around the corner, there is no excuse but to act with urgency and compassion, and these 10 actions are a start to reduce pressures on our homelessness support system.”

Here are society’s 10 calls to action, as explained in its own words:

1. Prohibit no-cause evictions under the Yukon’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

The Yukon is one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that allows no-cause evictions – landlords can evict tenants without cause – even in the winter.

With no-cause evictions, even tenants who have signed year-long leases can be told they need to vacate with only a couple months’ notice.

In the context of the current housing crisis, a couple of months are not enough time for people to find another permanent residence.

In addition, no-cause evictions provide a loophole around the residential rent index.

Landlords can evict existing tenants, then raise the rent above the rental cap in advance of incoming tenants.

The act needs immediate revision to prohibit the ability for landlords to issue no-cause evictions. That would ensure tenants are protected and have more stability in their housing.

2. Expand rent supplement programs to include individuals and families receiving income support and housing benefits.

As an example, the Canada-Yukon Housing Benefit administered by Yukon Housing Corp. (YHC) is a rent subsidy available to Yukoners on a fixed income or earning low to moderate incomes.

This benefit is currently unavailable to those receiving income support.

Recognizing that income support rates are far below what’s required to access housing in the current market, expanding the eligibility for the housing benefit or introducing a comparable rent supplement program would help those who need it the most.

This call aligns with the recommendation from the recent Auditor General of Canada’s report on the YHC, which advised the corporation to review its eligibility for the Housing Benefit.

Allowing those receiving income support to access the Housing Benefit is already done in other Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.

3. Create a matching program for post-secondary students and seniors who have extra space in their homes.

Yukon residents and students coming to Whitehorse to attend Yukon University have a challenging time finding affordable accommodation during and after their terms.

Students are at high risk for homelessness, particularly during the summer or immediately post-education. At the same time, there are many seniors in our community who have extra space in their homes.

Through a careful matching process, the safe pairing of students and seniors can create a mutually beneficial living situation.

There is a national model in place through Canada HomeShare. This kind of program has been shown to work well in such cities as Vancouver, Toronto and Kingston, Ont.

4. More frequent reports from the YHC outlining data related to unit vacancies and inflows and outflows from the corporation’s units.

Although the YHC is required to publish an annual report, it provides minimal detail about current tenancies and about what progress has been made toward its goals.

For example, the report fails to provide information regarding how many people have been housed in the past year; how many people have been evicted and for what cause; how many units are empty on a yearly basis; and the turnover rate per building.

Social and community housing providers in other jurisdictions, including those operated by Crown corporations like the YHC, provide this level of detail in their reporting.

More frequent and detailed reporting would increase transparency and accountability, and would enable the YHC to make data-driven decisions and help identify where to target supports and resources.

5. Mandate the creation of a landlord registry to improve transparency across the rental market.

Landlord registries are becoming increasingly common in other parts of Canada to provide the public with important information as they search for rentals.

A registry can include information such as the amount of rent landlords charge and have previously charged for their units, the number of units they have, and any complaints filed against them.

Having a publicly available registry of landlords in Whitehorse would help bring more transparency to the local rental market and could either be operated through the Residential Tenancies Office or through a newly-formed tenants’ association.

There could be an option for landlords to complete a course about their responsibilities and tenants’ rights that earns them a credential on the registry. A registry could also be used to determine eligibility for incentives targeted at landlords who maintain deeply affordable housing.

6. Regulate short-term and vacation rentals across the city.

Short-term or vacation rentals (STRs), such as Airbnb’s, continue to grow in popularity in Whitehorse.

There is concern that some of these STRs are commercial developments that are effectively removing potential long-term rental units from the market.

The most recent analysis found that as of April 2019, there were 186 STRs in the city. Of them, approximately 44 were units that could have provided long-term rentals.

This is significant when compared to Whitehorse’s vacancy rate, which, as of October 2021, was 2.3 per cent, or 52 vacant units out of a total housing stock of 2,248 units.

Converting all STRs that could have been potentially converted into long-term rentals as of October 2019 would bring the vacancy rate in October 2021 from 2.3 per cent to 4.3 per cent – an 87 per cent increase.

The City of Whitehorse has previously looked into the need for regulations to STRs, but this issue should be revisited in light of the current housing crisis.

7. Increase transparency related to the housing shortages for out-of-territory employee recruitment strategies.

As the Yukon’s population continues to grow at a rapid pace, employers bear a responsibility to inform potential out-of-territory hires about the housing crisis and lack of housing options.

Having newly-recruited employees show up in the Yukon only to discover how challenging it is to secure housing strains local resources and supports.

By being transparent from the get-go, employers can help ensure new recruits make an informed decision about relocating and start exploring housing options early.

8. Increase the financial resources and supports that people need to deal with bed bug infestations.

Bed bugs are endemic to Yukon. Infestations result in discomfort and reduced quality of life, and lead to discrimination and often 
times eviction.

As these pests are transitory and mobile, they can be hard to get rid of. Professional treatment is often required to eradicate infestations.

For seniors and those living with mobility challenges and other barriers, it can be difficult to prepare for bed bug treatment.

If their unit is not prepared and treated properly, they risk eviction.

Additional community supports are required to assist those who need help preparing their units and providing education about bed 
bug prevention.

9. Establish and resource a Yukon Tenant’s Association.

Tenants in many Canadian jurisdictions have joined forces to form tenants’ associations.

These associations provide a space for tenants to share ideas and experiences about their rental housing for the purpose of advocacy, and action.

They offer a counter-balance to landlord associations and can be a site for workshops, programming, and peer support.

There is strength in numbers. The formation of a local tenants’ association would provide an avenue for tenants to advocate to ensure their right to housing is being upheld.

10. Ban evictions related to arrears and eliminate debt-free entry requirements into housing for individuals on income support or a fixed income.

Rental arrears, also known as unpaid rent or damage fees incurred in a past tenancy, are a serious barrier for individuals and families on income support or a fixed income to access social housing.

There is no expiration for arrears, and federal and territorial income support sources will rarely help cover these costs. This means that arrears from many years ago can prevent someone from accessing housing today.

Those experiencing homelessness are forced to seek out funding from non-profit organizations or find alternate sources of income to pay arrears prior to being housed.

The learning experience related to debt, damages, and poor budgeting need not be a barrier to housing.

In recognition that housing is a human right, the inability to pay off arrears should not prevent people from accessing housing.

Comments (58)

Up 0 Down 0

Joy Happy on Aug 28, 2022 at 11:09 am

In Orlando FL - I am 61, moved to FL to be closer to family. I had just sold my condo in Myrtle Beach and trade-in thing to find a low income apartment. Nothing
I wonder if Florida took in account of the Hurricanes and new residents would be a cause for more housing - LIHTC homes and a plan - I guess not.

I had a good job. I took an early retirement after my job was outsourced to India for the tax credits my boss could make off of production sent there to recover from the Tsunami 2006? I didn’t plan for that, I lost my home 2007 and custody of children took my 401k for Child Support.

I had sold my condo in Myrtle Beach and from that I plan to use for the excessive rent.
Eventually it got to the point that I was stuck in that circle of Housing and I received my three months evictions notice but I was waiting on the APPROVED checks.

Rental assistance checks never came. I think we all had a little too much trust in the Govt. I ended up selling my Equinox and was able to pay the three months past due while 30 others were evicted with nowhere to go not even enough to rent and storage shed to store their life belongings.

Our PHA isn’t following the usual HUD Housing Waitlist choosing process - They were chosen for a trial run of a new housing program called MTW. I wish that meant Make Them Work but unfortunately it is designated only for a certain group of people and I wonder who exactly is on that list when I’ve been on it for a year and a half.

I am covered $$ on rent until October 1.
I’m praying real hard. 🙏🏼 I’m disabled.

That’s an inside look at another Evicted Story.

Joy

Up 1 Down 0

Marcelle on Aug 19, 2022 at 11:15 pm

It is so unfortunate to notice that there is a HUGE disconnection between all of us who have different realities in our community. We should all walk each other home. It is totally ok to have diverse opinions on what are the solutions but we don't need to fall into prejudices and racism when we share our thoughts.

Up 8 Down 2

Dave on Aug 17, 2022 at 12:15 pm

I would be interested in knowing how many of the under housed people members of safe at home, anti poverty group or Kate White's band of bleeding hearts have living in the spare spaces in their homes or in their backyards.
To even think of having seniors take in these people is a ludicrous idea at best. Ever heard of elder abuse?
Too bad there isn't a vaccine for stupidity.

Up 8 Down 1

iBrian on Aug 17, 2022 at 6:03 am

Those 2 ladies and the society promote, support and provide for a large group of people who just want to be Gypsies. So let them be. Who don’t want to be responsible, don’t want to work hard, not buy drugs, booze, smokes to pay bills.
Yeah, no patience for this type of useless unproductive organization.

Up 2 Down 0

drum on Aug 16, 2022 at 7:47 pm

Sorry I gave my opinion. I will not do it again.

Up 3 Down 2

johnny on Aug 16, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Why do they never talk about Chilkoot?

Up 8 Down 2

Bill on Aug 16, 2022 at 4:30 pm

@ Patti
You are the endless torment.

Up 12 Down 5

MITCH on Aug 16, 2022 at 4:25 pm

@ JEFF - "In recognition that housing is a human right". This line caught me too, it makes me question human rights. If a caribou cannot find shelter or keep up to the herd, does the federal herd dictate that the whole herd should lessen its performance so as to be put at risk by its weakest members?

NEVER HAS. NEVER WILL. WEAK CARIBOU DIE, LEFT BEHIND AND THEY DO SO WILLINGLY FOR THE SAKE OF THE HERD. Why do Humans have rights? Doesn't anyone see, at close to 8 billion rights claimants, we simply don't have enough rights to go around? That is why it is called FREE"DOM". Your freeness comes at a cost to somebody.

Christ folks, why do you think we have Not seen (which means NAZI) era eugenics passing as a healthcare system?

Up 5 Down 18

Patti Eyre on Aug 16, 2022 at 4:23 pm

Boy there are a lot of angry people who post, I will pray for you all! Life isn't an endless torment.

Up 12 Down 2

John on Aug 16, 2022 at 3:45 pm

@ Drum - Apartment block converting to Condos

...and what is your point? That is the owner's right to do what they want with their property as long as it meets with the zoning requirements. Frankly you would have to have a brain transplant to even think of building or buying an apartment block. Zero return and nothing but headaches. Condos (which I detest) are the answer - in and out. Money in your jeans. Ninety days - plenty of time - or you could move out, that would be a novel idea.

Drum you just gave the number eleven - you should not be able to convert your rental property. Good grief !!!

Up 16 Down 1

Technically on Aug 16, 2022 at 12:06 pm

In the context of creatures or plants, "endemic" means native to an area. Indeed, bed bugs are not endemic to Yukon.

Up 13 Down 3

MITCH on Aug 16, 2022 at 11:30 am

@ JOHN - Well said sir, thanks for sharing. Myself, I only bought to put a roof over my head, which has taken a roommate here and there, but in the end, always, wasn't worth the cost to ROI of A TENANT. I was forced to buy in 2012 and a 0.1% vacancy rate with my sibling or we had to leave the Yukon, our home. Looking around these days, I wish I had never wasted my time or money on this community. 35 years as a northerner wasted by the decadence of southern dandies. Canada forces you to own a home, then penalizes you for trying to survive in it. They will also assist you in dying in it, so they can sell it to more property management firms and their corporate investing masters. Looking for a job with insurance companies burning down stuff they don't like.

Anyone hiring? Have gas (for now) will travel...

Up 19 Down 3

Jeff Bikaboom on Aug 16, 2022 at 10:26 am

The Safe at Home Society has released 10 Calls to Action to force renters underground to avoid government overreach and violations of private property rights.

"In recognition that housing is a human right"

Or is shelter a human right? There is a big difference between keeping people warm in the winter and providing free houses that are better equipped than many Yukoners who live off grid. I like the human rights lesson from an organization that practices experimental vaccine coercion.

I don't think i have read something with more of a disconnect from reality in a very long time. The Safe at Home Society needs an immediate audit so their funds can be put to something useful.

How many homeless people suffer from mental health issues?
How many homeless people are violent offenders?
How are homeless people in any way the responsibility of people who rent their private property?
Perhaps this "crisis" is simply evidence of the ineffectiveness of The Safe at Home Society.

Up 4 Down 13

drum on Aug 15, 2022 at 4:54 pm

What about a landlord giving legal notice of 90 days for an apartment block which he is converting to Condos. The tenannts have no where to go!!!!!!!! What are they to do? This happened a few days ago - it is not a fairy tale - it is for real.

Up 42 Down 7

10 Questions for Kate & Neena on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:37 am

It is truly astounding the audacity this Safe at Home Society has to put forth their ridiculous “10 Calls to Action”. In response, I have 10 QUESTIONS FOR KATE & NEENA requiring their response with urgency.
1) Do you really think that landlords evict tenants without a cause? Never! And Landlords don’t have to explain the reason as long as they give tenants proper written notice to move out. Likewise, tenants are able to move out without explaining “a cause”, as long as they also give landlord required written notice. Yearly leases same thing but more notice required. Yes- “even in the winter” life goes on in the Yukon, people work, school, drive, and even make a smooth move into other accommodations-NO BIG DEAL!
2) Research shows that the Safe at Home Society receives substantial funding from various government sources (taxpayer money), which are used to pay at several employees to handle the homeless problem in the Yukon. QUESTION- why is the SAHS receiving funds and paying staff to deal with the housing problem, but now are passing of their responsibility and expecting Landlords take care of the problem?
- Where can a copy of the updated SAHS Financial Statements be obtained, for public knowledge of funds received and where the funds (taxpayers money) are being spent?
3) “To match post-secondary students and seniors” – Are you seriously suggesting that vulnerable senior citizens who have worked all their lives to have their own home, finished raising their own children and often grandchildren should now take on the responsibility and potential abuse of taking students into their personal retirement homes? Would you move a student in with your aging parents or grandparents, and be on 24/7 standby to deal with any and all emergencies that arise?
4) How many homeless people do you and other bleeding hearts and advocates have living in your personal homes? You must have a spare corner in your home you can set up some cots for the comfort of some desperate people. Until you all are doing that, you should not be pushing that responsibility at others. Practice what you preach.
5) “Mandate and create landlord registry”… are you suggesting that the Privacy Act would no longer apply to Landlords? For equality, there would also need to be a mandated Tenant Registry, which would certainly provide a lot of interesting information. Sounds like more government administrative jobs you’re looking to create, with more people being imported into fill them.
6) Do you really think that Short-term and vacation units are removing potential long-term rental units from the market? Not a chance. Most of the STR owners have experienced the nightmare of dealing with long-term rentals and would rather sell their units rather than risk going through that again.
7) Safe at Home program started out with good support, but is losing respect quickly with these outrageous demands. Do you really think landlords will want to support and work with your programs when you’re continuously throwing them under the bus?
8) Are you told how to handle your finances and forced to enter into high-risk retirement income investments? You’re suggesting tenants have no responsibilities, but landlords risk everything they have to take care of a government’s problem.
9) “Establish and resource a Yukon Tenant’s Association” – Really?? Why can’t concerned tenants be ambitious enough to form their own Tenant Association, without requesting (landlord) taxpayer money to fund it? There are already several tenant advocate organizations that continue to enable tenants not to have to take responsibility for themselves. Are you suggesting, that in all fairness, the Landlord Association receive government funding as well?
10) “Ban evictions related to arrears”.. are you suggesting that it’s okay for tenants to steal rent payments from their landlords? Is it okay also for them to steal from grocery stores, liquor stores, etc, or just from their landlords? Theft is a crime and must always have consequences! Housing may be a human right, but NOT a landlord problem to provide it for free. Are grocery stores expected to feed them for free, or clothing stores expected to clothe them for free?
QUIT PASSING THE BUCK AND PUTTING THE BLAME AND RESPONSIBLILITY ON EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ELSE. Quit trying to take the easy way out of accomplishing SAHS mission by throwing it out at landlords who have been providing housing to thousands of Yukoners throughout the years. FACE THE REALITY OF WHAT THE PROBLEM REALLY IS AND WHO’S RESPONSIBLE TO FIX IT- THE GOVERNMENT!

Up 47 Down 6

drum on Aug 13, 2022 at 7:18 pm

I am sick of seeing degenerates fornicating and drinking in public at the Shelter:.
Many of them have homes in the communities but choose to party in Whitehorse and claim they are homeless.

Up 19 Down 3

Sheepchaser on Aug 13, 2022 at 5:31 pm

@sheepchaser on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Don’t distract from the main issue. My accusation was that the work product of Safe At Home is fanciful and incompetent. Please feel free to argue the point.

As to your comment. Under the shadow of the Many Rivers scandal, yes, I think Yukon societies have an uphill battle to gain back citizen confidence. Especially when in receipt of massive amounts of public funds. Having been an insider with a view into the corruption of multiple supposedly volunteer societies in the Yukon that turn out to be cash cows for select well-connected individuals, my impression that a cloud remains over the entire sector is founded in stark, if uncomfortable, reality. Especially when nothing has been done by people at the top of the political heap to clean up the situation. Be tone deaf to that if you like. Think that claiming good intentions makes up for terrible (sometimes criminal) mismanagement and waste. If Safe At Home were to, say, offer the public an accounting of the money spent on their new big-ticket project after completion… show they spent every dollar with the respect it deserves based on the sweat and toil of the people who earned it… I might consider them exempt. That might happen, but I doubt it. Especially given the politically involved characters within their leadership, Safe At Home would be a focus of a routine accounting if it were my mandate to do so. Likely full-on investigation to see if and how the relationship between the organization and one of this jurisdiction’s most powerful politicians may have impacted the outcome of the grant giving itself. One of the same folks at the top of the political heap that have chosen to take no meaningful action to address the open secret of profiteering non-profit societies.

Government money in, salaries paid, board member honorariums, Executive Director perks, but very little effect out. The conflict of interest to maintain the pork-barrel status quo is so obvious. How can you ignore it?

Up 51 Down 5

Cognitive Distortions on Aug 12, 2022 at 9:09 pm

There may be “… no excuse but to act with urgency…” but they certainly have every excuse to ‘act without intelligence and forethought’.

This is a rather poignant example of when technology goes a wry… The Liberals have created all of these walking, talking, unicorn-rainbow fart machines under the auspices of ‘diversity, inclusion, and equity’ which have now taken over the collective mind with their ‘magical’ thinking’.

Up 12 Down 13

@sheepchaser on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:01 pm

@sheepchaser said:

We’d all be more inclined to pay attention if the Yukon Societies Act barred board member compensation, like every other jurisdiction in Canada (except NL). Here in |the Yukon, there’s an industry of unqualified advisors


Are you implying that the all-volunteer board of Safe at Home is profiting from their service? That's a heck of an accusation. Have any evidence for that?

Up 14 Down 9

@north of 60 on Aug 12, 2022 at 3:55 pm

@north of 60
Let's see the success with that before handing them more 'free' govt money. These 'free money' LIBgov funded 'feel good' projects are not much more than money laundering that only drives up inflation.

I don't see any evidence of Safe at Home asking for more money in this article, they are making policy recommendations.

Up 29 Down 6

george on Aug 12, 2022 at 3:18 pm

And meanwhile the Chilkoot sits empty while the govy spends 15 million on the NVD high country inn to build some high class free housing. Wonder what the people who use to call Chilkoot home think of all that? Someone should ask them.

Up 57 Down 4

John on Aug 12, 2022 at 2:42 pm

@ Mitch

We seen the writing on the wall a few years back. We sold our unit to a family. In short, we took it off the rental market. We have not been the only landlord that threw in the towel - the rent freeze added to the drain as well.

This group wants accountability from landlords but none for tenants. Business deals don't work that way. Once the government started to sticking it's beak into our domain it became quiet clear that it was only the beginning - the beginning of the end. So with tripe as espoused here should any of this crap come to light soon there will be no rentals. Maybe that is the game plan - then the government (the state) can house them. Groan - what a bloody thought.

I really feel for landlords these days. We live in a society of freeloaders, this includes many in the middle class as well. Take, take, take and wanting more. When I was young, homelessness wasn't the "industry" it is today. You wanted to eat and have a roof over your head - you got off your butt and worked. Now for most they think it is a four letter word - "work - moi - no-no-no, me I have rights"...

Yup I am old school. You know what - I am proud of it too. I was brought up with parents who instilled a very strong work ethic in the family.

I could go on and on - I shall not. It is tiring to keep harping, not on the old days, but rather self-accountability.

Up 26 Down 1

maple_mex on Aug 12, 2022 at 1:48 pm

If the Federal and Territorial governments reduce or remove income tax on rental income, I would bet rental rates would come down and private investors would be more willing to become landlords, thus increasing the number of rental units. It would be interesting to see what the break even for government would be on this (i.e. How much taxpayer dollars would you be saving by reducing taxes and have the private sector make the investment in housing).

Private industry typically does things more efficiently and effectively compared to Government or NGO's.
Food for thought.

Up 24 Down 14

MITCH on Aug 12, 2022 at 12:14 pm

There is no choice, but to act with CONSERVATISM.

Up 42 Down 3

MITCH on Aug 12, 2022 at 9:56 am

@DALLAS - Exactly what I did, nearly two years into no tenant or roommate and my bills went down due to less utility use. If I can help it, I will never rent to anyone in this community ever again. At least, until I can be confident I can have a tenant that will pay on time, not do hard drugs against my zero tolerance hard drug policy for rental and that their needs do not exceed my own. Clean, employed, CLEAN AND EMPLOYED. WITH A DAMAGE DEPOSIT IN HAND, IN CASH, BEFORE A LEASE AGREEMENT IS SIGNED.

Up 52 Down 5

Austin on Aug 12, 2022 at 9:50 am

Sure glad I work two jobs and pay taxes and get nothing back from the Government. What a bunch of BS. Keep giving giving giving to people who could care less about themselves and just expect everything for nothing. I am tired of trying to get by and then see those who haven't worked a day in their lives get everything for free. Safe injection sites and free room and board. Total BS. I know there are people who need help but it is getting a little ridiculous. Canada has to bring in workers from outside of Canada. Total BS.

Up 50 Down 2

yukong on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:48 pm

10. Ban evictions related to arrears and eliminate debt-free entry requirements into housing for individuals on income support or a fixed income.

Rental arrears, also known as unpaid rent or damage fees incurred in a past tenancy, are a serious barrier for individuals and families on income support or a fixed income to access social housing.

Wow, just wow. These people don't live in the real world. What happens when the tenant doesn't pay, and the landlord can't pay the mortgage to the bank? Is this rinky dink little society going to bat for the landlord? The bank takes the house.

How many people has this society helped? Seems like their client list is growing, not shrinking.
Maybe Kate can house all these people on her property, and she can be the landlord.

Up 38 Down 4

North_of_60 on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:46 pm

Didn't this S@H Society recently receive millions to turn the HCI into a homeless shelter? Let's see the success with that before handing them more 'free' govt money. These 'free money' LIBgov funded 'feel good' projects are not much more than money laundering that only drives up inflation.

Up 37 Down 2

Big Daddy Silver on Aug 11, 2022 at 6:42 pm

Now now, little peon landlords.. it's not that we want to make you suffer!
We understand all too well what you go through when you discover your rental property has been used as a landfill for months!

But surely you can see our side can't you? We have these bums sitting around on main street and it embarrasses us to no end and makes us look bad you see?

We have to appear to be doing something you know? And goodness knows, giving up any of our own perks is not something anyone wants to see so we thought we'd fund a little committee to give the appearance of concern for the bums and here you are, raining down fire and brimstone on us again!

Goodness gracious! What is it with you silly people? A few more rules never hurt anyone !

Up 17 Down 32

Nathan Living on Aug 11, 2022 at 4:24 pm

Why not set some land aside near public transportation and build mini homes for these people. At the same time develop an appropriate support system.

It's not rocket science and it can be done quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Up 40 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Aug 11, 2022 at 4:02 pm

I invite our newish MP Dr. Hanley to provide some information from the federal Liberal government on how they will be addressing the homeless problem that has existed for a long time. Bags of money are being made available to deal with aboriginal violence among the two primary genders and similar feel good projects. How about stepping up to address something that affects the nation and was promised heading into the 2015 election. I'm pretty sure the homeless population has not reduced since then.
So What's Up Doc?

Up 61 Down 11

Dallas on Aug 11, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Just wait till landlords say screw ya and don’t rent anymore to anyone then watch and see what happens, this city is screwed the territory is screwed and the country is screwed and the common denominator is the liberals/NDP alliance.

Up 56 Down 2

Sheepchaser on Aug 11, 2022 at 1:02 pm

We’d all be more inclined to pay attention if the Yukon Societies Act barred board member compensation, like every other jurisdiction in Canada (except NL). Here in the Yukon, there’s an industry of unqualified advisors. The big ideas listed here are more likely to reduce the rental market, not expand it. A basic understanding of economic reality infused into their suggestions would be a good start. Add in a pinch of privacy law that is already on the books federally and most of what they’ve written up becomes useless and not actionable. Sadly, in order to justify their own existence and compensation, the leadership of these these organizations waste everyone’s time with public proclamations backed up by zero accountability.

Once an organization like this has ‘moved on’ from helping people on a day-to-day hands-on level to focus instead on policy and politics, they have become part of the corruption rather than the solution.

Up 64 Down 5

High Country Inn on Aug 11, 2022 at 11:33 am

The High Country Inn was supposed to be ready for September. When will it open?

The High Country Inn was supposed to cost $15 million of taxpayers money. How much over budget is it?

Up 66 Down 6

Yukoner1 on Aug 11, 2022 at 11:17 am

1) I don't see the "urgency" being put into getting any hard-to-house and homeless tenants into the old High Country Inn that the taxpayer purchased for you.
2) Kate is the Executive Director of the Safe at Home Society. Would it not be transparent to know her annual salary, that taxpayers are paying for?
3) Stop attacking private individuals who are investing in things like Airbnb accommodations. They are not the ones who are "at fault" for hard-to-house and homeless. It's disgusting to even suggest such.
4) Stop telling the rest of us what we need to do, and maybe go do something yourself? Old High Country Inn is empty since when?

Up 59 Down 7

The anti-landlord industry in Whitehorse on Aug 11, 2022 at 10:49 am

How much money does the government give to radicals in all these non-profits to create drama against private landlords? Private landlords are providing 2,000? rental homes at zero cost to the government, and for a fraction of what it costs the government to provide the same thing.

This organization says there are 206 people/families, looking for housing, and their entire grocery list of what to do about it is to make it even more difficult and risky to be a private landlord. Ha ha ha!! That's a good one! I hope the public is ready to buy another 40 High Country Inns for millions of dollars each from NVD, and then renovate them for millions more. Then the tax payer can pay $48,000 a year per rental so Social Services, Yukon Housing, and these activists can all be paid to administer the rentals.

Instead of paying ideologues hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to agitate against private landlords, perhaps YG better start thinking about how to make the scene more attractive for private citizens to continue to provide rental housing in Whitehorse.

If you go back into Marxist history and theory, there is a particular hate-on for landlords. It is historical, and fundamental to their ideology. I would guess this has something to do with why you don't see them attacking grocery stores, hair salons and others, but making their reason for being attacking landlords, all the time.

Honest question if anyone knows the answer: How many non-profits are being funded by YG to 'advocate' for a small number of renters who should be clientelle of Social Services, NOT private landlords, in the first place? How much money are each of them receiving? I would guess that these two in the photo above are being well compensated to keep the drama alive and quite like being obnoxious toward landlords. It just warms their Marxist hearts.

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theHammer on Aug 11, 2022 at 10:38 am

Unemployable, unskilled, uneducated people is the real problem, the Shelter is a Salvation Army massive mistake, they had no right to impose this gathering station for uncivilized, amoral, social degenerates on Yukon society. How many of the homeless are FN with community housing projects and massive funding. How many homeless are pan handlers on SA, with shelter free food, and spend their days looking for vehicles to rob? Why is there no bylaw against public drinking and pan handling?

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BigJay on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:27 am

Thomas Brewer: You should try that. And then the privacy commissioner will send you their thoughts on the initiative, just like happened with landlords recently in Edmonton when they did exactly that in a private Facebook group.

Google it, and then try it. I dare you.

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AdmiralA$$ on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:24 am

First, Landlord...you nailed it, right on point. "Endemic in your circles maybe". So true, so funny.

Second, anyone else notice 5 of these recommendations are begging for some type of subsidies. More hand outs yeah? Three are begging for some more transparency from our own government. Two are putting controls on your property. I suppose we could just call it a three step plan. 1. Give us more free money 2. Stop making arbitrary government jobs and bringing new people with no home here. 3. let us control your property. At this point I'll be booting out my tenants and putting my over priced junk back on the market. Thanks for the heads up.

Third, I would like to also point out, government is the biggest employer. All these govy workers are the biggest "investors" in property here. This is a manufactured problem. They bring people here by the plane load and buy up the houses.

Fourth, all this "free" crap has now brought new street walkers from all over. We have created an overuse factor by implying all this stuff is free and has no value or cost. I bet people on fixed income this year have felt this cost. Or possibly people who re rolled a 5 year fixed at near 6% from 2.5%. I bet these people feel this cost.

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Henry on Aug 10, 2022 at 10:13 pm

@ Landlord

Nicely put my friend...
Unfortunately your comments will fall on deaf ears. For us landlords we are the scum of society it seems. I always put some other professions in that category, I'd name them but The Star would edit them out because it would be taken as being cruel. Nice to know we are loved - like I give a crap. Good tenants are treasured and valued - bad ones are a dime a dozen and most of these looking to rent tend to fall into the category as non-rentable persons. That's life.

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bonanzajoe on Aug 10, 2022 at 8:47 pm

And maybe there should be a special course for some tenants that don't know how to live in and take care of an apartment. And to show respect for their fellow tenants. There are too many low life's who don't work, and like to drink, drug, party and disturb the peace of others. Let's discuss that little problem Kate.

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bonanzajoe on Aug 10, 2022 at 8:42 pm

"there are many seniors in our community who have extra space in their homes." How about the high paid politicians? I'm sure they have a lot of extra room space in their big houses. They like to make laws, let them set the example.

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Matthew on Aug 10, 2022 at 8:12 pm

Easy, stop spending money on them! Force them to live poor in a tree or get a job and contribute. Pretty simple. The liberals have created an entitled poor community where they have ZERO ambition to do anything as EVERYTHING is handed to them..

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Salt on Aug 10, 2022 at 7:57 pm

Communist parasites convinced that life will be better once they kill their host. A story as old as time.

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moe on Aug 10, 2022 at 6:48 pm

How many tens or hundreds of millions of dollars do we give to all the social services programming and non profits supposedly 'helping the homeless'. And yet when it comes down to ACTION, private landlords are supposed to provide, take all the risks and when the rubber hits the road, provide all the service. This is actually to be expected, when you see the way the non profits and Social Services operate. Landlords provide 24/7, 365 days a year service at a fraction that the government does, risking a $300,000 ++ private asset to house people at no cost to the tax payer. These loons think that they should also have no control over those assets. The control that the landlords have IS WHY their service WORKS, while the government's largely does not.

So these organizations want to drive the bus the landlords built. Why? Because despite all the free money they get, they CANNOT ACTUALLY FULFILL THEIR MANDATE! It's laughable! So let's wreck the private system, too.

Demonizing landlords while demanding that they, and only they, provide uncontrolled access to their assets and services.

I can just imagine how this would go at a grocery store or gas station: "You didn't pay the last 10x you filled up. Pay in advance or beat it." "You can't look at my past record and JUDGE me! I'm going to take your gas, and then you can take me to gas station court to get paid." Ya right.

I am no fan of the environment despising Yukon Party, (think The Peel), but sure feel like I'll be voting for them next time around. The NDP - Liberal Party Pension Coalition is getting more ridiculous by the month. They are taking this territory too far down the wrong path. The party with almost no votes is imposing their double-vision through the venality of the Liberal Party MLA's who wanted to get their 6 years or whatever it is, so they can collect a pension for life. Look at what downtown is becoming!

Okay. I've got things to do. Rant over.

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BnR on Aug 10, 2022 at 5:48 pm

Just wait until she goes to the City for yet more money for the Ill fated Coast High Country Inn transformation. It’s going to need waaaaay more than 10 million for the renovations, and the new City council isn’t going to say no.

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Stop this nonsense - Get rid of this unholy alliance now! on Aug 10, 2022 at 5:34 pm

There are a lot of people in Whitehorse who like to be safe at home too… However, with the rampant drug and alcohol addled gangs of roving miscreants doing as they please in the downtown core they cannot feel safe in their own homes!

Perhaps Neena and Kate can put some wall tents and a couple of Yurts on their own property? There is lots of room for cots in the foyers and atriums at the Legislature and the Law Courts - Schedule their Court appearances for first thing in the morning - No more sureties or missed Court dates - No more bogus Gladue and Presentence Reports - The Judicial activists will have direct access and interaction.

How much more ignorant can these so called pillars of the community be?

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Isn’t there something missing? on Aug 10, 2022 at 4:21 pm

Should there not be a 11th call to action? Provide an update on the status of the High Country Inn?

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Landlord on Aug 10, 2022 at 4:17 pm

I applaud your concern for those less fortunate, but please remember, Yukoners did NOT vote NDP! The only reason their policies are even being entertained at all is because of the disgusting, self-serving Liberal sell-out in favour of political pensions.

So you want to force all landlords to offer housing to people who are proven not to have paid rent in the past? That sounds like a great business model for landlords to follow! (That's sarcasm, btw.)

You say bedbugs are endemic in the Yukon? I'm a landlord and a home owner, have lived in the Yukon for 43 years and have NEVER seen a bedbug in my life. Endemic in your circle maybe, but certainly not in mine!

So you want the gov to create and FUND a tenant's association? Why can't tenants create and fund their own association just like landlords do? Every other jurisdiction has tenant-funded, tenant-run associations. Why should our Yukon tax dollars be used for that? If every tenant contributed just $2, there you go! Remember, Yukoners did NOT vote NDP!

So you want to get rid of no-cause evictions? Are you aware that once the trust is broken between landlord and tenant that things turn really ugly? Two months is already too long for landlords when you have a real undesirable tenant. If no-cause evictions are abolished, I will sell my rental units because the grief is just not worth it. Are you aware of the horror stories in places like Ontario where those types of rules exist? If every landlord sells out, how many rentals will be left, do you think? Where will your people live then? Be careful what you wish for!

So you want to create a landlord registry? If that happens, it's only fair that landlords can create a "tenant blacklist", don't you think? Then watch what happens to those tenants in arrears! (Would also be very handy to know who comes with bedbugs and who doesn't!)

So you want to get rid of the Short-term rentals like AirBnB? Last February there were NO rooms available in any hotel in Whitehorse (possibly due at least in part to the High Country Inn being sold). That was in February! Where will the people stay? Where will the tourists stay? This one piece has the potential to shut down tourism. Is that what you want? Kill the economy, lose the jobs, more people on social assistance, more tenants for you! One big happy social assistance territory. Scary thought for me. Remember, Yukoners did NOT vote NDP!

Landlords are NOT the Social Services Department. Why are you trying to make us into that?

Governments (YG and CoW) need to pull up their socks and create incentives to encourage MORE rental units to be built. INCREASING the number of rentals is the answer to a lot of the housing crisis. With more rentals, rental rates will come down. With more rentals, more people will be housed. More rentals is the answer, in my humble no-experience-with-bedbugs landlord opinion.

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Thomas Brewer on Aug 10, 2022 at 4:10 pm

Stop offloading social housing needs onto the private sector.

How about landlords create an 'undesirable tenant' list and share that amongst themselves? 'Cause there's definitely some dangerous, damaging, and chronic non-paying tenants out there.

Banning no-cause evictions? Again - this is not your property, not your investment, not your effort. If somehow this passes, I guarantee you'll see 3 month leases become the norm to protect the landlord.

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The Other Dave on Aug 10, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Or you could do what the left wing nut jobs on the Los Angeles city council are considering which would make it a city law that hotels give any unsold rooms out to street people each night. Just think, those Socialist geniuses in LA don’t see any problem with hotel staff dealing with people off the streets, when you check into the Hilton you’ll need to barricade your door to make sure the addled druggie with the gun in the room next door can’t break in to rob you. You and your family will visit Disneyland and star in an episode of American Homicide all in the same trip! Every single hotel in LA will be like our very own Centre of Hopelessness here in good ‘ole Whitehorse.

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Juniper Jackson on Aug 10, 2022 at 3:47 pm

Dear Public, We're so sorry, but all the available housing, apartments, are held for newcomers to Canada. These newcomers will require clothing, furniture and transportation. If you can help with these items please contact us. Thanks

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YT on Aug 10, 2022 at 3:40 pm

"Regulate short-term and vacation rentals across the city.
Short-term or vacation rentals (STRs), such as Airbnb’s, continue to grow in popularity in Whitehorse."
Really. So now she wants government to be able to tell landlords what they're allowed to do with their property. Y'know whats harder than finding a rental unit in this town? Finding good tenants. But you never hear about that. Tenants want the world. They have pets, they have a pile of kids, and they want cheap rent. More and more landlords are going the AirBnB route because dealing with problem tenants is a PITA.
Just look at her last talking point: "Ban evictions related to arrears and eliminate debt-free entry requirements into housing for individuals on income support or a fixed income." Ban evictions for non-payment of rent? So the landlord, who's depending on the rental income to supplement their own income has to take the hit? Obviously this ne'er-do-well has never been a landlord and had the "pleasure" of dealing with Whitehorse's delightful group of tenants. Apologies to the good tenants, I know you're out there, but you're outnumbered and the others tar you with the same brush.

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Sharon Davis on Aug 10, 2022 at 3:32 pm

I totally agree with all ten recommendations and they need to be put in place immediately.

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MITCH on Aug 10, 2022 at 2:54 pm

I feel for these folks, I really do. I've done my time on concrete here and there, no one survives long in it unless they are apex. But the reality is, MOST PEOPLE WILL NOT SHARE THEIR HOME WITH RISKY INDIVIDUALS. I WON'T . AND I HAVE. You want to add insult to injury with the elderly and suggest they give up their lifelong hard won comfort to make up for decades of municipal, territorial and federal ignorance? How about every YTG senior staff be enforced by mandate to provide this accommodation from their own assets that we paid for? You wonder why homeless people are being lit on fire in Vancouver. The middle class resents yet another externality of the rich being foisted upon them.

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John on Aug 10, 2022 at 2:29 pm

Sounds like a typical NDP manifesto. In society there two types of people - givers and takers. Unfortunately there are far too many takers then there are givers, to the point that this imbalance has put us where we are. I suspect the ratio is about 10-15% givers and 85-90% takers.

Stating unqualified homeless stats does not reflect the why and what these people are doing to alleviate their situation. If you are going to throw data like this out there, then you owe it to the reader a comprehensive full picture. Otherwise it just raises more questions than answers.

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TMYK on Aug 10, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Hmmm. Yet another society with many of the same players and overlap as many others. Homelessness has turned into a pretty good grift for a select group of people and it’s not the ones they claim to be advocating for.

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Wilf Carter on Aug 10, 2022 at 2:04 pm

Very interesting. I was part a national housing conference on aboriginal housing needs. I was also part of private study on housing needs in the North which Federal Government told them to give the north $80 million for housing needs in the North when we need $1.6 billion in housing now plus serviced land.
Yukon needs $600 million for housing and serviced land. The issue of housing was caused by Federal Government cutting housing fund by 300% that caused the problem. Tenant act is not set up to control the housing industry and it should is governed by supply and demand. It's high because lack of serviced lots available to build on shortage of trades (no labor market development plan for Yukon to employ Yukoners to build our housing needs}.

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