Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Yukon Legislative Assembly—Yukon Housing
1. As in other parts of Canada, access to housing in Yukon—particularly for vulnerable persons, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessnessDefinition 1—is a challenge. Access to housing along the housing continuumDefinition 2 affects many aspects of people’s quality of life, such as educational outcomes, incarceration rates, infectious and chronic disease rates, and ability to be part of the labour force.
2. The Government of Yukon has acknowledged that it must respond to vulnerable Yukoners’ needs for housing and related services. AdequateDefinition 3, suitableDefinition 4, and affordable housingDefinition 5 are considered to be housing standards in Canada. Households whose dwelling is deemed inadequate, unsuitable, or unaffordable and who are not able to afford alternative housing in their community are seen to be in core housing need. According to the 2018 Canadian Housing Survey,
- 14.4% of households in Yukon were in core housing need compared with 11.6% of households nationally.
- Of the Yukon households in core housing need, 69% were deficient in 1 housing standard while 31% were deficient in multiple housing standards.
- Approximately one third of all renter households in Yukon reported living in social and affordable housing.
Roles and responsibilities
3. Yukon Housing Corporation. The corporation’s mission is to improve the quality of housing in Yukon and help Yukoners get the housing they need. It has key responsibilities for housing along the housing continuum (Exhibits 1 and 2). The corporation provides rental housing at below-market rents to applicants (individuals or households) who qualify for social housing and rent supplement units. As of March 2021, it had 744 social housing units and 80 rent supplement units.
4. Department of Health and Social Services. The department provides supports, services, and programs that improve the well-being and quality of life for Yukoners across the lifespan, including persons with disabilities, persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, persons in financial need, and adults with vulnerabilities. Its portfolio consists of housing with services: emergency shelters, transitional housing, and supportive housing (Exhibits 1 and 2). As of October 2021, the department had about 90 emergency shelter beds or units and 40 transitional housing beds or units. It also had 361 supportive housing beds or units, of which 36 were within the scope of the audit. (The remaining 325 were in long-term care and residential care, outside the scope of our audit.)
Exhibit 1—The housing continuum includes 4 major housing options
Temporary accommodations for people who lack housing. Shelters are typically free of charge and may be geared to a specific gender and/or age range.
Housing where people can live for a limited time and typically receive services and support to transition to more permanent, stable housing.
Non-market housing that typically includes both a rental subsidy and ongoing and targeted support services to residents who are unable to live independently due to physical, mental, or other challenges.
Housing for low- and moderate-income singles and families that is typically owned, operated, and subsidized by a government and/or non‑profit entity.
Note 1: Emergency shelters, transitional housing, and supportive housing are considered housing with services.
Note 2: The audit did not examine the final 2 housing options on the continuum, which are not shown in the exhibit: private market rental and home ownership.