Emilda Hallauk says her family suffers chronic health problems because of the mould in their Arviat home.
photos courtesy of Emilda Hallauk

An Arviat mother whose home is overrun with mould said the problem is making her family sick.

Emilda Hallauk, 36, is worried about how the mould could affect her elderly father, who has respiratory problems, and her three-year-old daughter, who has been asthmatic since birth.

Emilda Hallauk says she “kept asking for help but got no response,” so she shared images of her home on social media.

“It smells like mud in this apartment,” she told Kivalliq News.

Home for Hallauk is a two-bedroom Arviat Housing Association apartment she shares with up to 13 other people, including her six children, her parents, two brothers and three sisters, although one sister now lives with her boyfriend because “we don’t have enough room,” she said.

She has been living in the home for 12 years, she said, and first noticed the mould issue about a year ago. She said the problem has been making her family members sick.

“My dad (who) is over 60 years of age started to lose his voice and get respiratory problems and my three-year-old girl has been asthmatic since birth,” she said.

“It really makes my head hurt,” she added. “Big time headaches.”

She raised the issue with the Nunavut Housing Corporation and the Arviat Housing Association about six months ago, she said.

Last week she shared images of her home on social media.

“It smells like mud in this apartment,” says Arviat’s Emilda Haullauk, who lives in the two-bedroom unit with up to 13 other people.

“I kept asking for help but got no response,” she said. “So, I just started to post pictures to get attention so my family will have a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want them to be here.”

Two Arviat Housing Association staff visited her home on March 17 and said the problem would be taken care of, she said.

Hallauk wants the mould removed, but she is also open to moving to a “three or four bedroom” unit “because this little apartment is so small for my six kids.”

“I just want my kids to be healthy,” she added.

A representative from the Nunavut Housing Corporation declined to comment.

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  1. Mould causes Indigenous Elders, children and families huge health problems!! GN/GNWT health and housing authorities refuse to call it out because it would force their governments to take action or be at risk of a class action lawsuit!! Their families would never live in these conditions!!! Overcrowding is another unaddressed plague impacting the North. This is simply criminal!!!! #homelessness

  2. With the Housing Problems , I wonder if the Nunavut Housing Corporation Corporation might consider making a Joint Project with Habitat for Humanity to fix all these Problems and maybe putting up new units to meet the needs of the Communities in Nunavut .

  3. clearly the government especially the health department should investigate this issue. mould has long been recognized as a major health hazard . unfortunately I have heard very few good thigs such as inspecting the area and doing something about it. I hope you persevere and do get justice.

    Beverley Cooke

  4. It seems to me that NHC is trying to engineer buildings that are not suseptible to mold. This is why we are paying $600,000 per unit for these small 2 bedroom apartments. That is over three million per five-plex. Mold is not a result of building construction unless it is done wrong. Mold results when 13 people live in a two bedroom apartment. Unfortunately people in Nunavut have no options for housing. Until we figure out a way to get people who can afford it there own homes and build and retrofit enough public housing units this will never end.

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