News Release: Mobilization of small house to Takhini River Subdivision, Yukon University Housing Maintainer Program

Whitehorse, YT -- Yukon University’s Housing Maintainer Program lets students earn while they learn,  providing 30 weeks of full-time employment and training.

The training cohort’s latest accomplishment – a 1-bedroom tiny house – will be on the move Thursday March 28th to its permanent location in the Takhini River subdivision.

Built at Yukon University’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining (CNIM), through a partnership with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), house construction provided hands-on learning for residential building and maintenance. This is the fourth ‘Building Stability’ home built for CAFN through this partnership. The project intends to build stability for both the trainees and the tenants while the energy efficiency creates a stable sustainable home.

Program instructor Carson Baker says students can earn credit for their first year, “students are paid a wage to build. Students who are interested in the apprentice program can earn 800-900 hours and get credit toward their first year of the program.”  

Student Konrad Russ is one student taking advantage of the apprenticeship pathway. “Carpentry was one thing I wanted to learn after high school, he says. “It has been so fun. It’s great to be hands on everything, it’s a great way for me to learn.”

The 12-student cohort started with a week of safety training and certification. They then moved to small practical projects -- building saw horses and dog houses -- before framing the house itself. The tiny house is 13.5 feet wide by 40 feet long, with a double 2x4 wall construction, with roughly 450 sq. feet of finished living space.

“Yukon University is really proud to be a part of this hands-on learning program. Skilled trades training is an integral part of our programming. We’re meeting the needs of Yukon’s labour force and we’re doing what we can to address the housing crisis,” says Dr. Lesley Brown, Yukon University President.

Quick Facts

  • The Housing Maintainer program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment & Skills Strategy and in partnership with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. This program is also open to all Yukon First Nations.
  • CAFN provided a wage top-up for the 12-student cohort. A key partner for the training CAFN also covered the cost of building materials (worth an estimated $112,000), lot preparations, and transportation costs.
  • This year the Housing Maintainer program will complete two houses for CAFN. Last year Yukon U worked with Kwanlin Dun First Nation and CAFN on a house for each nation. In 2021, seven students renovated two homes owned by the Tr’ondëk Hwëchin.

Run of Day:

  • 9am. CastleRock will arrive at Yukon U’s CNIM building to begin loading the house onto a trailer.
  • 11:30-12. Media is invited to CNIM for an opportunity to view the end of the loading process and speak with the Housing Maintainer instructor and students.
  • At approximately noon, the truck will depart Yukon University for Takhini River Subdivision.
  • The route will follow the Alaska Highway towards Haines Junction. Shadha'la Road is the first right just past the Takhini River bridge. The house will be delivered to lot 9A.


Media is welcome on site at CNIM and in the subdivision. Please note, however, that these are active construction areas. Please wear appropriate closed-toe footwear and be prepared to follow all safety instructions.

Yukon University

Misha Warbanski

Director, Communications and Marketing

University Relations


Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Mike Rudyk
Communications Manager
867 334 5749
867 456 6888 x337