Yukon Housing Corporation and the Department of Health and Social Services did not provide vulnerable Yukoners with adequate and affordable housing
2022 Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Yukon Legislative Assembly—Yukon HousingYukon Housing Corporation and the Department of Health and Social Services did not provide vulnerable Yukoners with adequate and affordable housing
Ottawa, 25 May 2022—Today, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada provided the Legislative Assembly of Yukon with the results of an audit that examined whether the Yukon Housing Corporation provided Yukoners who have the greatest needs, including those who are homeless, with adequate, affordable, and suitable housing. The audit also looked at whether the Department of Health and Social Services supported Yukoners who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by facilitating their access to housing.
The report concludes that the corporation and the department made little progress to fix long-standing issues affecting housing programs and services, and did not work together or with their partners to effectively manage housing for those who needed it most.
“Transforming programs and services to deliver housing to vulnerable Yukoners requires the corporation and the department to work together, and with their partners. This did not happen, and those with the greatest housing needs suffered the consequences”, said Deputy Auditor General Andrew Hayes.
The audit found that between 2015 and 2021, the waiting list for eligible social housing applicants grew by 320%. In 2014, the average wait time to access housing was a little over a year. By 2021, that number had increased to almost 17 months. In addition, it took almost twice as long to provide homes for individuals from priority groups—such as victims of violence—than from non-priority groups. Furthermore, the corporation had not updated its list of priority groups since 2007 to reflect Yukon society. Many issues were previously identified in our 2010 audit on housing and in our 2011 audit on health services and programs.
Despite several initiatives and action plans in the last decade, the corporation and the Department of Health and Social Services have not followed through on many of their commitments. For example, Yukon Housing Corporation housing stock increased by 20% between 2014 and 2021, but not enough to meet needs. The Department of Health and Social Services worked to increase emergency shelter capacity and transitional and supportive housing units. However the effectiveness of these efforts suffered because the department did not assess what was needed, and did not collect data to monitor progress and inform decision making.
“It is imperative that the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Department of Health and Social Services work together to overcome the gaps and barriers we noted in this audit to help vulnerable Yukoners find the adequate and affordable housing they need”, said Mr. Hayes.
The Report of the Auditor General of Canada to the Yukon Legislative Assembly—Yukon Housing is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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