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Canada, Nunavut split $18 million in housing support for those in need

Government of Canada contributes $9 million for low-income or at risk households
On Aug. 3 minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Ahmed Hussen (left) visited Iqaluit to make announcements related to the Rapid Housing Initiative, with Leetia Janes interpreting in Inuktitut. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Federal funding will support 70 Nunavut homes over seven years, thanks to a pre-election announcement.

Just a week before Parliament was dissolved, the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Ahmed Hussen announced details of an $18 million 50/50 joint investment with the Government of Nunavut to support up to 70 low-income households in need through the new Canada-Nunavut Housing Benefit (CA-NU HB).

The CA-NU HB according to CMHC is intended to address rental instability among certain target groups such as women and children experiencing or are at-risk of domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people dealing with mental health or addiction issues, homeless individuals or people at risk of homelessness as well as peoples with disabilities among others.

“The Canada-Nunavut Housing Benefit is designed to give households in need a boost, and provide some added stability during these uncertain times,” said Hussen.

“We are pleased to access the $9 million Canada Housing Benefit, earmarked and targeted towards Nunavummiut transitioning into their own housing, but facing issues of a disproportionally high part of their salary going towards rent,” said Nunavut minister of family services and minister responsible for homelessness Elisapee Sheutiapik.

“The rent support will also come with specific follow-ups and supports from Family Services’ staff to ensure the participants in the program succeed in transitioning into their new housing.”

Through the CA-NU HB, the average monthly benefit will be approximately $3,100 per month to support housing costs.

“A lack of transitional housing in Nunavut means that many Nunavummiut in need of a shelter are forced to use emergency shelters, live in overcrowded conditions, or are homeless,” said Margaret Nakashuk, Nunavut minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation.

The Canada Housing Benefit funding Nakashuk adds will be used to ease this hardship by facilitating access to housing on the private market for individuals, youth or families who are experiencing vulnerability or crisis.