Haines Junction, Yukon, looks at reducing minimum home size – North

The village council in Haines Junction, Yukon, is voting Wednesday night on whether to allow smaller homes in one section of the community.

The idea has been around for years with supporters like Councillor Evelyn Koh pointing out that small homes were at one time the norm in the community.

The proposed bylaw amendment reduces the minimum square footage of single family homes from 753 square feet to 300. 

She said the homes would still have to meet national building codes with permits and inspections like any other home.

“Just small homes, so not talking about tiny homes on wheels, but just sort of conventional homes, with a smaller footprint,” she said.

Koh said it could eliminate a shortage of starter and rental homes in Haines Junction.

Haines Junction builder Dave Weir says the high cost of new home construction is discouraging potential home owners who are unable or unwilling to pay that much money. (Brian Parkinson)

The bylaw amendment has made it through two readings and a public meeting.

Local builder Dave Weir spoke in favour at the meeting. Big homes are no longer affordable for many, he said.

“What’s happening is, it’s starting to eliminate certain parts of the market, starter homes, people that don’t want the space, people that want to put their money into things other than housing,” said Weir.

Weir said he and his wife were happy in a small home, but needed more space when their kids came along. He said once the kids leave they won’t need all that space.

Haines Junction village council is voting Wednesday evening on whether to reduce the mandatory minimum square-feet for single family homes in one section of the community. (Google Maps)

“We’re looking at downsizing again when we get to that, because if you don’t need the space, why heat it, why maintain it, why pay for it, why not use your money for more enjoyable things?” he said.

The proposal is not new to Yukon.

Dawson City’s minimum is even lower at 256 square feet…

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