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Future looking bright in Arviat

Community looking to take big steps in housing by 2030
Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. is optimistic about his community's future with 49 students graduating from Grade 12 at John Arnalukjuak High School on Saturday, June 1, and 295 housing units coming to the hamlet by 2030 through the Igluliuqatigiingniq (Building Houses Together) Nunavut 3,000 project.

When you're talking good news in the Kivalliq, as with most of Nunavut, you can't go wrong with the construction of new housing projects.

And, that particular good news item rings especially true in Arviat.

Arviat Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. said a housing factory is being built in Arviat by Sakku Innovative Building Solutions — a modular housing company under the umbrella of Sakku Investments Corp.

Savikataaq said Sakku is currently working on the housing project in Arviat, pouring cement for the floor this past week.

During the summer of 2023, construction started for both an eight-plex and a 12-plex apartment.

There's no new construction planned for this summer but, next summer, there's going to be 32 units constructed again,” said Savikataaq. “That's part of Nunavut 3,000 and that's the way it's been scheduled. You get housing every second year.

If there was such a thing as a magic wand with unlimited resources, we, for sure, would want around 300 detached houses. That's not an apartment block, but individual houses instead.

The number put in for Arviat for the Igluliuqatigiingniq (Building Houses Together) Nunavut 3,000 project is 295. They will be built by 2030.”

Igluliuqatigiingniq Nunavut 3,000 is described as a collaboration between government and its partners to address the housing crisis in Nunavut. Often referred to as a nation-building opportunity, Igluliuqatigiingniq Nunavut 3,000 has the potential to result in enduring partnerships with Inuit organizations, the private sector and other levels of government to expand the number of housing units and provide safe, secure and affordable housing.

The project's goal is listed as being for communities to meet their potential by leveraging the collective strengths of strategic partners to provide lasting value for all Nunavummiut. As such, Igluliuqatigiingniq Nunavut 3,000 is committed to delivering 3,000 new units across the housing continuum in Nunavut by 2030.

Savikataaq said all houses in Arviat are overcrowded. While he doesn't have an exact number, he said overcrowding is a big issue due to a lack of units and the community's rapidly expanding population.

We have surpassed Rankin Inlet and are now second by population to only Iqaluit,” the mayor said.

I'm optimistic about Arviat's immediate future right now. We just had 49 students graduate from Grade 12 at John Arnalukjuak High School in Arviat on June 1. That's a really high number. It's hard to say how many of those graduates will continue on to post-secondary studies. I don't know what the exact number will be on that, but I would like to see all of them pursue their education in whatever field they enjoy working in.

Unfortunately, if you don't like what you're doing as your job, you could be in a for a horrible time, but, sometimes, you have to do that because you have to support your family. And, if there's nothing else available, then you take whatever is available.

I'm happy to see people move on, further their education and find a good job because there's always a chance they might return back home with their new skills and experience to help our community. In fact, that's what I said at the graduation ceremony; leave town, learn whatever skills you want and do what you want to do. Then come back to town and help the people of Arviat.”

About the Author: Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative

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