The fourth intake of the Housing Initiatives Fund (HIF) will support eight more shovel-ready housing projects over the next two years as well as four housing project development concepts.
The selected projects will support 102 new affordable housing units for Yukoners in Dawson City, Teslin, Watson Lake, Lake Laberge and Whitehorse. These units will be below median market rent for 20 years.
The fourth HIF intake provided additional considerations for projects that prioritized the needs of seniors, tenants earning less than Yukon Housing Corporation’s household income limits, people experiencing homelessness, and youth aged 18 to 25. It also supported work on housing solutions for staffing strategies for all levels of government and the local business sector.
This year, project proponents received an increased amount of funding based on feedback from applicants and to account for increased construction costs due to COVID-19. Shovel-ready projects in Whitehorse received $60,000 per unit up to $600,000 per project. Shovel-ready projects in rural Yukon received $90,000 per unit up to $900,000 per project. Project concepts received up to $20,000.
To date, the fund has committed just under $16 million to affordable housing partnership projects for the construction of more than 389 affordable housing units across the territory. Completed projects include an 18-unit building in Whitehorse built by Ramza Development Ltd., two four-unit projects in Carmacks built by the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, and a 10-unit project in Haines Junction built by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. A total of 65 units have been completed so far in Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Carmacks and Dawson City and several other projects are underway or near completion.
The Housing Initiatives Fund supports a wide range of new affordable housing projects that align with the three pillars of the Housing Action Plan for Yukon: housing with support services, affordable rental housing and increased home ownership options.
The next call for housing projects will be in November 2021.
The Housing Initiatives Fund addresses the need for affordable housing in the territory. We are pleased with the tremendous response we have received in each phase. The increased flexibility of the fund allows us to focus on the needs of youth, seniors, low-income and vulnerable Yukoners, as well as staffing pressures for local businesses and all levels of government in both Whitehorse and rural communities. This government is committed to providing affordable housing options to all Yukoners.
Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation Ranj Pillai
Funded projects must include a minimum of four units in Whitehorse or a minimum of one unit in communities. Projects must remain affordable for 20 years.
Projects approved must increase the amount of affordable housing available for Yukoners and can include new affordable rentals, new rent-to-own options, new home ownership options or other mixed market approaches.
This funding can be used with other Yukon Housing Corporation programs such as the Municipal Matching Rental Construction Program, the Developer Build Loan Program and federal, First Nation and municipal funding initiatives.
Existing commitments from the first four intakes will bring online 474 total housing units, including 389 affordable housing units, built by First Nations governments, First Nations Development Corporations, developers, contractors, community organizations and individuals.