The Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation is hoping to start construction on six new housing units in a subdivision on its settlement lands outside Dawson City, Yukon, next week.
Chief Roberta Joseph said the First Nation completed the development of the subdivision, which is just east of the town, across from the Crocus Bluff baseball field, a couple of years ago.
"Some units will be two-bedrooms, and one-bedroom as well," she said.
She's hoping the units will be ready for people to move into them in October, if everything goes smoothly.
Pressure to build new homes
Johnson said building new housing is a priority for the First Nation.
"The young people are growing up and wanting their own places, too. And so that really puts a little bit of pressure on building new homes," she said.
The situation is similar for all of Dawson City, said Jackie Olson, a board member of the Klondike Development Organization, a not-for-profit organization that works to, among other things, alleviate the rental housing shortage in Dawson City.
The organization built two eight-unit apartment complexes, which are now filled.
"I don't think we've made a dent, yet [in the shortage]" said Olson.
She said young people who are growing up in Dawson City want to stay there now, which she said is not the way it used to be when she grew up in the town.
She added there are also many people who go to Dawson City to work for the summer and then want to stay.
Meet most of the demands
Joseph said she hopes the six new units, along with other plans the First Nation has to build more housing, will meet most of the demand in the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin community.
There are three empty properties the First Nation owns in Dawson City, she said, that will be converted into duplexes.
"And then we also have plans for building more houses in the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin subdivision," Joseph added.
There are about 30 people on the First Nation's waiting list for housing, she said.
"We hope that by being able to increase our housing program, we'll be able to contribute to more comfortable and enjoyable living standards for some of our young people who want to live an independent lifestyle and, you know, move on with their life and their priorities," she said.