The Nunavut Housing Corporation’s $43.4-million capital budget for 2020-21 stalled last week when Aggu MLA Paul Quassa insisted that the housing corporation was wrong about Iglulik’s waiting list shrinking by 54 per cent.

The Nunavut Housing Corporation is going to have a third-party review the methodology for allocating houses to communities. photo courtesy of the Nunavut Housing Corporation

Other MLAs also wanted assurance about the process used to track the waiting list in each community.

Housing Minister Patterk Netser returned Monday seeking approval for his department’s capital budget and he admitted that some employees erred in the calculations.

“Because of our mistake, we haven’t decreased the number of houses that are going to be built in Iglulik and I did apologize. We do make human errors,” Netser said. “We depend on the numbers. With the number of houses to be built in Iglulik, it’s not going to change because there are other communities that need more housing than Iglulik does.”

Twenty NHC homes are scheduled to be constructed in Iglulik in 2019-20, Netser noted.

“For the people of Iglulik, we have a severe shortage of housing and I don’t think we’re
going to see any changes anytime soon,” Quassa said. “I’m sure that there are also (wait list calculation) errors done in the other communities. I’m sure it’s not only Iglulik that’s in this situation.”

Netser noted that an independent party will be used to carry out a review of the rent scale and NHC’s housing allocation system for the communities. In the meantime, the minister noted that residents should continue to regularly update their status.

“We encourage our (local housing organizations) to keep an updated list people applying for housing. (Clients) have to come in and apply every six months,” Netser said.


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