Following shack demolition, Nunavik man may return to social housing
"The man that was evicted will be allowed back in a house and his arrears have all been forgiven"
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.)
A Quaqtaq man who was evicted from social housing and then learned that the makeshift shed that he called home had been torn down, will be able to return to social housing.
“We heard good news after five this evening that the man that was evicted will be allowed back in a house and his arrears have all been forgiven,” said Quaqtaq’s municipal manager Johnny Oovaut, who thanked everyone for their support.
KMHB chairperson Michael Cameron said in a Facebook posting that the all the parties involved “have worked this out.”
“We are all sorry that this has happened,” Cameron said.
The image of the collapsed shed, posted on a popular Facebook page for Nunavik news, and then on Nunatsiaq News, angered people in Nunavik and unleashed a wave of anger against the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau, which oversees social housing units in Nunavik — and sometimes moves to evict tenants who haven’t paid their rent.
The man had moved into 12-foot-by-16-foot shack after he was evicted from his social housing unit earlier this year in the community of about 400 people.
But when he was away in Montreal for cancer treatment over the weekend, KMHB staff and a lawyer flew into the community Sept. 22, Oovaut said.
KMHB workers then collapsed the walls of the structure, but left the intact roof and debris at the site.
Afterwards, the brother of the evicted tenant rushed to salvage what he could of his brother’s belongings, with the help of others. They stacked up furniture and a mattress in the back of pick-up trucks.
It’s not clear how much the tenant owed to the KMHB, but the housing board has said it tries to avoid evicting tenants unless the tenants refuse any arrangements for repayment of arrears.
The KMHB told Nunatsiaq News Sept. 24 that it is preparing a statement on the shack demolition.