Whitehorse Welcomes New Affordable Homes and Energy-Efficient Upgrades
The Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon are teaming up to provide substantial funding totaling $8.32 million to address affordable housing needs in Whitehorse and to enhance Kaushee’s Place, a transitional home for individuals experiencing violence.
Under the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), the federal government is contributing $5 million to the Yukon Housing Corporation, working on behalf of the City of Whitehorse, to create at least nine new affordable homes in the city. This initiative is part of the third round of the RHI’s city stream, supported by the Government of Canada’s additional investment of $1.5 billion, bringing the program’s total to $4 billion. The aim is to provide at least 4,500 more affordable housing units across Canada, with a focus on women-focused housing projects, receiving 25 percent of the investments.
The RHI facilitates the rapid construction of new housing and the rehabilitation or conversion of existing buildings into permanent affordable housing units. The third round of RHI includes $1 billion for the Projects Stream and $500 million for the Cities Stream.
Additionally, the joint investment from the federal government and the Government of Yukon allocates $3.32 million for crucial upgrades to Kaushee’s Place. These renovations encompass an energy-efficient exterior retrofit, featuring a distributed water source heat pump system and a solar hot water system—the first of its kind in the North. The upgrades are expected to be completed by June 2024.
Kaushee’s Place, a vital resource, offers five transitional homes and 18 shelter beds for women and gender diverse individuals experiencing violence in Whitehorse. Shelter beds are offered at no cost, while the homes are available on a rent-to-income basis. The facility provides non-judgmental support, advocacy, accompaniment, and referrals to individuals who have experienced violence, whether or not they are staying at the facility.
Funding for Kaushee’s Place includes $2.89 million from the federal government through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) and contributions from the Government of Yukon, including $297,000 from the Yukon Community Development Fund, $61,000 from the Yukon Housing Corporation, and $75,000 in Energy Improvement and GST rebates from Yukon Energy Solution Centre.
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, The Honourable Sean Fraser, expressed the importance of these investments, stating, “Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. This will help increase the availability of affordable homes and support those in need.”
Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for the Yukon, emphasized the positive impact these housing projects will have on the community, particularly the support provided by Kaushee’s Place.
The Honourable Ranj Pillai, Premier of the Yukon and Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation, highlighted the collaborative approach to address housing needs in the region.
Michelle Parsons, Executive Director of Kaushee’s Place, expressed gratitude for the investments, anticipating cost-savings through improved energy performance and the ability to offer more support to those fleeing violence.