Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 27, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Nunavut Housing Corp. announces distribution of new units

Communities in greatest need get the most units

THOMAS ROHNER
The Nunavut Housing Corp. serves some 19,356 public housing tenants in Nunavut in more than 5,000 units. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
The Nunavut Housing Corp. serves some 19,356 public housing tenants in Nunavut in more than 5,000 units. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

Five Nunavut communities will see more public housing units constructed in 2017-18 than any other in Nunavut.

And those are the five communities—Hall Beach, Kugaaruk, Sanikiluaq, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay—with the greatest need for more public housing.

That’s according to documents, including the Nunavut Housing Corp.‘s 2015-16 annual report, tabled by Housing Minister George Kuksuk Oct. 25 at the territorial legislature.

While every Nunavut community needs housing, the worst-off places need more than 40 per cent more public housing than what’s available within the existing stock of housing.

That means, for example, where there are 200 units, the real need would stand at 280 units.

The housing corporation says in 2017-18 these communities with the greatest need will get the following numbers of public housing units:

• Hall Beach, Kugaaruk and Sanikiluaq—15 units each;

• Gjoa Haven—20 units; and,

• Cambridge Bay—10 units.

Five units will also be built in each of Chesterfield Inlet, Taloyoak, and Cape Dorset in 2017-18.

And in the following fiscal year, 2018-19, nine communities are scheduled to receive more public housing units:

• Cambridge Bay—15 units;

• Arviat and Iqaluit—20 units each;

• Pond Inlet and Kugluktuk—10 units each; and,

• Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Naujaat, Kimmirut, Sanikiluaq and Qikiqtarjuaq— five units each.

But whether those construction projects will do enough to offset the housing needs is not clear.

That’s because the needs are big:

• Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet, Iqaluit, Kimmirut, Kugluktuk, Naujaat, Pond Inlet and Taloyoak need 35 to 40 per cent more public housing units than exist now;

• Arctic Bay, Cape Dorset, Clyde River, Igloolik, Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq need 25 to 35 per cent more; and,

• Baker Lake, Coral Harbour, Grise Fiord, Rankin Inlet, Resolute Bay and Whale Cove need 25 per cent more.

MLAs continue to work through the territory’s capital budget during committee of the whole sessions at the legislature, scheduled to end the first week of November.

The housing corp.’s 2015-16 annual report said the government spent $54.2 million on public housing construction that year and have built nearly 250 public housing units across the territory over the past three years.

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