FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 4, 2023
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is renewing its call for the Liberal Government to reverse its change to the land title transfer policy. Changed without consultation, the policy now issues land titles for new homes after a City of Whitehorse occupancy permit is in place, instead of earlier in the construction process when the home is clad to weather – meaning the structure can withstand the elements. This change has increased uncertainty, costs, delays, and red tape for the housing construction industry.
After exchanging letters with the Minister over the winter, Energy, Mines and Resouces Critic Scott Kent raised this issue several times in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. Following those questions, Whitehorse City Council passed a motion in April 2023, which called for the city’s Housing and Land Development Advisory Committee (HLDAC) to review the policy change. Part of that motion, which was tabled by Councillor Dan Boyd, read: ‘This requirement may create unnecessary delays in the transfer of homes from builder to buyer, and increased costs to homeownership.’
Both the Yukon Real Estate Association (YREA) and the Yukon Contractors Association (YCA) wrote letters of support of Councillor Boyd’s motion. The YREA said, ‘We feel this policy, and other recent policies introduced by the Yukon Government, are contributing to increased costs and delays to new home construction in Whitehorse.’ The YCA said, ‘…we are worried that this policy will actually add red tape and negatively impact the housing market.’
A recommendation from the City of Whitehorse’s HLDAC has confirmed the concerns raised by the Yukon Party and recommended that the Yukon government revert to issuing land titles at the clad to weather stage of construction. Whitehorse City Council voted on June 5 to send the recommendation to the Yukon government urging them to change back the policy.
“We have been hearing that this policy change brought in by the Liberal government could cause delays in the transfer of title process which could increase costs, create delays, and cause uncertainty for the home-building industry,” said Kent. “Despite the Official Opposition raising this issue repeatedly in the Legislature, and several letters of support from industry groups, the Liberals have refused to reverse their flawed policy. Hopefully, now that the City of Whitehorse Housing and Land Development Advisory Committee has weighed in and called for the policy to be amended, the Liberals will finally listen.”