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Yukon Territories

Council OKs housing committee’s plan

The six-month work plan, proposed by the city’s New Housing and Land Development Advisory Committee, was approved by the city council at its meeting on Monday.

from Chuck Tobin on February 2, 2023

The six-month work plan, proposed by the city’s New Housing and Land Development Advisory Committee, was approved by the city council at its meeting on Monday.

The Council voted unanimously to adopt the work plan.

The committee’s mandate is to focus generally on those elements of housing development policy and processes over which the city has authority, according to an administrative report prepared for the council.

The report explains that the authority includes planning new development areas, issuing building permits, development incentives and important zoning regulations.

In addition, the committee may consider where the city is working with the Yukon government, First Nation governments, and the private sector to make land available for housing.

The Council set up the committee last July. Eight members were appointed, including one member from the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and one from the Ta’an Kwach’an Council.

Representatives of the Yukon government participate as ex officio non-voting seats on the committee, depending on agenda items.

The management report states that the committee reviewed its mandate from the Council and developed a work plan for the next six months, which prioritizes the following:

• Review of current zoning regulations related to housing;

• building standards; and

• Approval procedures.

At each committee meeting, a foundational topic was identified, providing education and context for the topic, along with a substantive discussion or workpiece reviewing details of the specific topic in view of proposed revisions or improvements, the report said.

“The proposed work plan also includes outreach by industry to inform the committee’s recommendations, which to date includes the establishment of contractor breakfasts for feedback on specific issues, which the committee will attend,” the report says.

The charter of the Advisory Committee requires the Committee to meet at least six times a year.

The management report notes that the council’s strategic priorities show the city hosting a housing summit during its three-year term.

The city government is currently in discussions with Yukon Housing Corp. to coordinate the company’s annual housing summit.

The committee’s work plan indicates that the summit is likely to take place in June.

count. Ted Laking told colleagues on Monday he supports the housing committee but there is still work to be done apart from appointing a committee.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Coun. KirkCameron.

“We cannot reduce our focus to understanding what is going on here in the Yukon and working hard to put housing construction in the right context,” he said.

“It is important at this point to focus on taking advice from the committee to find solutions.”

count. Dan Boyd stressed that the housing market is weakening somewhat with interest rates currently rising and that it is a good time for the city to start catching up.

The city, he said, has been lagging behind in serving the market for the past 12 years or more.

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