Proposed affordable housing complex waits on Yukon gov't funds

The Challenge Disability Resource Group is hoping the government will chip in $7.2 million towards the project which would include 53 new housing units.

$17.8M project would include 53 housing units, including 23 for people with disabilities

An architect's rendering of the Challenge Disability Resource Group's planned office and apartment complex in Whitehorse. It would include office space as well as 53 housing units, nearly half of them for Challenge clients. (Kobayashi + Zedda/Challenge Disability Resource Group)

A proposed new $17.8 million housing complex in Whitehorse is in limbo, as the Challenge Disability Resource Group waits to hear whether the Yukon government will help pay for it.

The group pitched the project last year, and said it hoped to have it built by the end of 2019. It would include 53 housing units, with 23 of them available for people with disabilities who are clients of Challenge.

"It's offering more affordable housing, it will take some pressure off of Yukon Housing [Corporation]'s wait list," said Challenge's executive director, Jillian Hardie. 

She says the group has already secured some of the funding from other sources, including the Yukon Housing Corporation, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It's asked the Yukon government for $7.2 million.

Hardie says she was told the government would have an answer by Christmas, but she still hasn't heard. 

The group already has a land sale agreement with the City of Whitehorse for a lot downtown, at 704 Main St., but Hardie says they've asked the city for a 60-day extension to close the deal. The current deadline is Jan. 28.

"If [the Yukon government] is not able to confirm with us a contribution to this project, we will have to return the land to the City of Whitehorse and work on another plan for our building," Hardie said.

With files from Max Leighton

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