Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik September 08, 2017 - 8:00 am

Nunavik’s public housing office cancels evictions for 2017

KMHB will take a year to consider other ways to get tenants to pay up

SARAH ROGERS
Nunavimmiut protest social housing evictions in 2013 in front of the KMHB’s head office in Kuujjuaq. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavimmiut protest social housing evictions in 2013 in front of the KMHB’s head office in Kuujjuaq. (FILE PHOTO)

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau has decided against issuing eviction notices this year to Nunavik’s public housing tenants who are behind in paying rent.

The KMHB’s board of directors voted last week to cancel evictions in 2017 and instead look at other ways to encourage Nunavimmiut tenants to pay up.

“The board decided to take a year off to think about the process,” said Marie-Christine Vanier, a spokesperson at the housing office.

“No one likes to evict anyone,” she said. “And they felt they didn’t have enough information to make that decision.”

Nunavik’s public housing office must deal with millions in unpaid rent every year.

The agency only started issuing eviction notices in 2010 to tenants who owed more than $10,000 in rent.

For its first round of evictions, the KMHB gave tenants time to respond and pay at least part of their rent arrears, sending them “last chance” letters and then advising them before the arrival of a bailiff to serve the formal eviction papers.

But evictions cause an uproar in the region each fall. Nunavimmiut have complained that, in a region with a major housing shortage, evictions essentially leave tenants homeless.

“There aren’t any options left,” Vanier acknowledged. “Once [renters] are evicted, they might not have anywhere to go.”

At the same time, the KMHB has accumulated millions of dollars in arrears since 2000 that it’s struggled to collect.

The housing office didn’t have an updated tally on unpaid rent in 2017. But its arrears sat at $17.8 million in 2015—the highest the KHMB had seen so far.

Vanier said Nunavimmiut are relieved and welcome the KMHB’s decision.

Some Nunavimmiut public housing tenants may have received initial eviction notices in August, before KMHB directors made the decision to cancel evictions this year—though all evictions are cancelled for the year, she confirmed.

“But it doesn’t mean we won’t do evictions next year,” Vanier said. “It’s a time of reflection, to think of other ways to encourage people to pay rent.”

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(24) Comments:

#1. Posted by UNGAVA on September 08, 2017

That is , a lot of money owed in arrears for a small poplulation. I would love to see the list.

#2. Posted by neighbor on September 08, 2017

Many thanks to KMHB’s wise decision. Shows us your care for your people. Thank you for giving a second chance. This is difficult for everybody but, we are inuit who cares for each other. Therefore, for those whom are given a second chance, start now to pay as much as you can in order to keep a home for yourself and family. Show them you can, you are able. Good luck!

#3. Posted by Social housing is a joke on September 08, 2017

lol if I was in social housing and I saw this I would NEVER-EVER pay my bill again lol, and people wonder why housing isn’t building more houses.
You want to fix overcrowding, poverty, low education. then buck the frig up, and be responsible.
Anyone that owes more then $10K (which is essentially a years rent - minimum) should get kicked out. If there are no housing alternatives - THEN PAY YOUR DANG BILL - common sense really, but that lacks a lot in most small northern communities. (I know blame it on the GN/Housing/White guy). Everywhere else in Canada there are consequences to your actions/ or lack of actions.
SOCIAL housing is a joke, and the next generation will see social housing disappear as it’s abused and there is no more funding. Anyone who thinks it will get better should wise up. Your kids and grandkids are screwed.

#4. Posted by Renter on September 08, 2017

I agree very much with *3

#5. Posted by long term resident on September 08, 2017

i’m a bit baffled by the decision… i mean there is a long process of trying to make deals and recup some money from people before an eviction is done.  They don’t go just hey - you’re out! it takes months and notices after notices ...

I agree with #3 ... why the heck pay when this kind of decisions are made.

#6. Posted by Rook on September 08, 2017

I was paying debts for 20 yrs straight, bills of all kinds…finally paid them all the past year and a big load was lifted off me. Discipline & determination will do wonders and now I am able to help others in need and can also begin new debt free life. Thinking of purchasing atv, outboard canoe…am allowed but also content with what I have..counting my blessings. KMHB is doing the right thing giving more time to tenants to pay up. If I can pay off my debts so can you. Be debt free & change…budgeting is wise and even rationing during…your children and grandkids benefit in leaps & bounds.

#7. Posted by Owe even more on September 08, 2017

Yah this is awesome news, I owe $10,000 now and by next year I’ll owe $20,000.00, then they’ll discuss if I should get evicted again (which I might luck out and not get evicted). Even if I do I’ll just move in with my relative, sure it might be over crowded for a bit but oh well, I’ll just complain that Housing isn’t doing enough, eventually one of my other relatives will have space and I’ll just move around; and who knows in 15-20 years maybe Housing will just write-off what I owe as bad debt smile.
!Said sarcastically!
You have to love the “it will fix itself if we are nice approach”.

#8. Posted by GOOD OL DYSFUNCTIONAL NUNAVIK on September 08, 2017

Life just keeps getting better here

#9. Posted by wow on September 08, 2017

I bet they have a long waiting list that keeps getting longer. What a slap in the face to the tenants that pay. Consequences should be no pay = eviction.

#10. Posted by claude gadbois on September 08, 2017

yes I agree also with #3 as stated in the story evictions will continue in 2018 the kmhb b.o.d felt it should review the eviction process in place so as to not burden other family members and contribute to overcrowding,in the south you get evicted and you are able to perhaps get another place to rent.yes there is a problem and yes we are sending the wrong message to our 3,500 tenants,but this is a temporary measure only.

#11. Posted by IceClass on September 08, 2017

As usual, the housing bureau have no spine so everyone ends up rewarding the freeloaders.

If you’re a young family looking at waiting on a housing list for years, it must feel great to know that people who don’t pay their rent are enjoying a nice warm and safe space while you couch-surf with the kids.

#12. Posted by what a dissapointment,time for kmhb to go on September 08, 2017

The Board decided to take a year off? They have been off for many years already. Take a hard look at the evolution/longevity of KMHB and make some hard decisions. Stop allocating houses to unemployed people just for popularity. Its time to step aside and let the SHQ take over social housing. This is a huge disappointment for us tenants who are paying our rent every month and not drinking our rent money away. Please make the list public.

#13. Posted by Chopper Crescent Kuujjuaq on September 08, 2017

I pay my rent every month and look after my house. When , all my bill are paid , then , i go to the co-op on Fridays and pick up my beer, stand in line with some of these delinquents, who couldn t care less.

#14. Posted by eskimo joe on September 08, 2017

wrong comment #2, when you own $$$ for essentials; pay up….is this the nation of gimme gimme gimme? I bet you these ppl with arrears have no problem with bingo cards and nevada pull tickets at 300$/week to spent, if not more….if combined owned is paid, it’s about 6 new houses a year for your region.

#15. Posted by Seriously?? on September 08, 2017

I live in public housing and hearing about those who are not paying their rent is sad and frustrating. I have to pay mine every month. Do you expect free hand outs where ever you go? Housing already pays your heat, water, sewage and garbage, how hard is it to pay your rent?
I’m sure you pay your other bills ie. cable, phone, internet, etc. Those are EXTRAS!!! Pay what you need first to live which would be your HOUSE! Stop mooching off the government and then crying poor me. If you do not pay your rent and owe over $10,000 and you have been given multiple chances then you deserve to be evicted.

#16. Posted by employee on September 08, 2017

i’m earing 1.800.00 a month from my job and i automatically pay 200.00 every payday 400.00 in a month and planning to increase that amount. not bad for a person who is trying to pay his bills. plus i dont do unnecessary life styles.

#17. Posted by Igloo today on September 09, 2017

When you see another report that shows the and growing arrears, you have to conclude a lot of people do not value housing.  When you value something you take care of it and make payments. 

How can we keep asking for more housing and still keeping owing money.  We have to grow out of this. 

There must be people who want have their own municipal house who would be more responsible.  Also why can’t people live in fishing shacks anymore.  Their grandfathers used to manager better in small matchbox houses. 

Why not build new kind match box houses that people can have for free and paying people can have the full service houses.  We already have the regular and the ruling class people.

#18. Posted by Bob on September 09, 2017

I remember , a few yrs ago , KMHB handed out tents along with Coleman stoves to people , who didn t have a place to stay during the rénovations . Throw these ungrateful people out and give them those item .

#19. Posted by 47-16 on September 09, 2017

An annual 8% rate increase in the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau rent fees is a bit much (it has been reduced marginally in 2017 after several rate hikes at 8%). If an average person were receiving an income to match it that would fair but wow, too much when you compound the rate.

#20. Posted by What If? on September 11, 2017

So many people, Inuit and Non Inuit, are employed to collect rents
from tenants. They are not doing their job. As simple as that!
  What if they were kicked out.
My cousin owes $16000 but he does not give a damn.

#21. Posted by eskimo joe on September 11, 2017

#20, your cousin will give a damn when he has to sofa turf or cold in the tent. his predicament? i wouldn’t give a damn either about your cousin when he’s in that situation. nobody should not care for those who don’t give a damn. does he know they are trying to help?

#22. Posted by Victor on September 12, 2017

KMHB is a creation of KRG and Makivik to do the bidding of SHQ.

#23. Posted by Annie on September 12, 2017

The first thing people must recognize is the lack of management in this situation. Anywhere else a tenant is given 3 months of delinquency. After that legal proceedings begin. Why is KMHB waiting years to get on top of these non-payees? If a promise to pay, an a payment arrangement is taken and the person neglects to follow through then the “contract” is voided and the property is forfeited…it’s that simple. I know youths that are waiting 4 years now to get housing, they have good jobs, are responsible young adults and have to live cramped into a one bedroom house with friends while they wait for a house that is being occupied by the “freeloaders” of the society. When is KMHB going to realize where the benefits of the community lie?
Responsible Management = Responsible Citizens

#24. Posted by UNKNOWN on September 13, 2017

WAKE UP PEOPLE!! IT’S NOT HARD TO BE DEDUCTED BY THE PAYROLL WHERE YOU ARE WORING. SOME ARE DEDUCTED W=EVERY TWO WEEKS AND ONE EEVERY SECOND PAY OF THE MONTH.

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