Whitehorse Daily Star

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ONE OF MANY UP FOR SALE – This four-unit site is one of the many properties the Town of Faro is selling off as it works to deal with the abandoned housing in the community. This one is listed at $76,140.

Faro housing set to be put up for sale by town

Two decades after the Faro mine shut down

By Stephanie Waddell on July 14, 2017

Two decades after the Faro mine shut down and many homes in the town were left abandoned in its wake, the town is ready to sell the properties.

The town’s council approved for sale the 36 abandoned properties it took over last year through the tax lien process. The properties feature a total of 170 dwellings.

As the town stated in a press release Wednesday: “The abandoned, dilapidated buildings, which are a mix of single-family, duplex, triplex and row houses, have been an ongoing problem and eyesore for the town.”

Mayor Jack Bowers commented that moving ahead with the sales “marks the culmination of over a year’s work and will ultimately be this council’s most significant achievement in their three-year term.”

Three quarters of the sites are available immediately over the counter, with prices set at the amount of property tax arrears owed when the town took over ownership.

The town’s website, listing over-the-counter sales of 29 available properties, show prices for abandoned housing ranging from $15,051 for a three bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms duplex unit to $107,430 for a four-unit building with the individual units including three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms.

The website also has the building inspections and photos available for most of the sites.

“But properties are sold on an as is, where is, buyer beware basis,” officials warned in the statement.

An incentive will also be available that would allow buyers to get back up to half the purchase price.

“Understanding that most of the buildings are now in a poor state of repair from neglect, the town is offering an incentive to prospective buyers to fix them up or clear the land,” it was noted in the town’s statement. “A ‘reno or demo’ clause in the sales agreements allows buyers to get up to half the purchase price back if work is completed within a two- or three-year timeframe. Other programs may be accessible through Yukon Housing and CMHC to help with renovation costs and financing.”

In August, town council is set to consider making up to 10 sites for sale through a sealed bid process with the minimum bid on each property set at the land value.

An incentive program for the sites that would be sold through the bid process has not yet been determined.

Even with the incentive programs and pricing, town council recognizes the community may well be left with a number of sites unsold and buildings that will have to be demolished.

“Council is pressing for the federal and territorial governments to recognize that the abandoned homes are a direct legacy of the Faro mine and provide the town with assistance for their demolition and disposal,” it was noted.

Details on the properties along with town policies around their sale are available through the town website at faroyukon.ca

Comments (4)

Up 0 Down 0

Donovan on Jul 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Melissa, It would be cheaper to move the people from Faro than to move these basically condemned buildings. What Faro needs is a Habitat For Humanity type project where the people of the town come together and build each others homes. There are many skilled workers there that can contribute their time.

Up 6 Down 2

Ralph Shaw on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

No mention of the asbestos present in some of these buildings ? Why not ? It's there.

Up 30 Down 1

YukonMax on Jul 15, 2017 at 7:45 am

Oh Melissa, Melissa...
The housing units available aren't suited for immediate occupation. In my magic ball, I don't see anyone with a bit of money to spare wanting to invest in these units either. I truly believe the Town of Faro is going thru the motions in order to prove down the road that no one will buy these units off of them. Then they can turn around with a justification to lobby for money to demolish them once and for all.

Up 27 Down 20

melissa on Jul 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Why doesn't the government work with the Ross River Dena Council and move them over to Faro, they are in a housing crisis, most of them can't live in their houses, most of the houses are sitting empty and it would bring the economy up in the town of Faro.

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