FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2022
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party has called on the Liberal government to repeal their harmful rent control policy before the rising cost of living causes more landlords to exit the market and forces more Yukoners from their current homes.
“After almost a year of the failed rent control experiment, everyone but the Liberals and NDP recognize how harmful this has been to renters and rental stock in the Yukon,” said MLA Scott Kent. “I’m asking that the Liberals do the right thing and repeal their policy before more Yukoners find themselves struggling to find a place to live.”
On January 19, Statistics Canada reported the national inflation rate had hit a 30-year high of 4.8 percent and the Yukon Bureau of Statistics figure comparing December 2020 to December 2021 indicates the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.4 percent in Whitehorse. At the same time, energy and fuel costs are increasing significantly as well.
In response on January 27, the government announced the residential rate index starting May 15 would be 3.3 percent. The use of CPI is the result of the coalition agreement between the Liberals and NDP. This only considers food and cost of living increases. Facing an increasing burden of costs, many property owners have sold their rental units, permanently exiting the market.
The Yukon Bureau of Statistics Fuel Price Survey report from December 2021 saw a greater than 20 percent increase in home heating fuel and gasoline that is burdensome for those property owners who include heat in their rent. In addition, there are increased costs in electrical rates, as well as in maintenance and repairs as suppliers look to make up the costs through higher prices. Furthermore, property owners are dealing with increases in insurance and property taxes.
“The 3.3 percent increase mandated under the agreement is out of alignment with the soaring costs landlords are experiencing and if they choose to exit the market, we may never see those rental units available again,” Kent added. “Yukoners are being impacted by the negative consequences of ill-advised market intervention. Doubling down on this policy failure with further meddling in the rental market will not fix things – it will only make them worse.”