Statement from Critic Yvonne Clarke on the Auditor General’s Report on Housing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                         May 25, 2022

“We thank the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) for their work on this audit. Housing has been an important issue for Yukoners over the past few years as our population has increased, along with the rising cost of living.

“We are disappointed to hear from the OAG that this Liberal government has not followed through on items identified in previous reports, including the 2015-2025 Housing Action Plan. Their inaction is making the housing crisis worse.

“The OAG report confirmed the Liberals have not kept up with social housing demands as the waitlist increased by 320 percent between 2015 and 2021, growing at a faster rate than the Yukon’s population.

“It is also deeply concerning the OAG found that from 2014 to 2021 the government did not provide adequate and affordable housing for Yukoners in greatest need, such as those who are homeless. During that time, the wait times for housing increased from a year to 17 months and priority groups remained on the waitlist for housing almost twice as long as non-priority groups.

“We hope action is taken to address an aging social housing stock as identified in the report. It is imperative there be a recording of all emergency and regular maintenance repairs, as the report found this was not necessarily the case in previous years.

“There should be a review of social housing stock in all Yukon communities, as the report found only 5 of 18 communities had been completed. The Yukon Housing Corporation’s Capital Asset Management Plan should incorporate the review’s findings.

“The OAG report highlights the Liberals have failed to operate as ‘One Government’. The report highlights that the corporation and the department have not worked together or with housing partners, even under the control of the same minister from 2016 to 2021. Ultimately, the Premier holds responsibility for overburdening the same Minister with the Housing and Health and Social Services portfolios.

“While the Liberals have accepted all of the OAG’s recommendations, their track record is not promising. The OAG report found the Liberals have made little progress on the delivery of housing as recommended in the Putting People First report.

“We will continue to press the government to have departments better work together and improve cooperation and collaboration with partners, update their information system to have accurate data available for decision-making, and provide an action plan with timelines.”