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Nunavut to get 130 public housing units; Iqaluit leads the way with 70 while 60 to be built in other communities

The Nunavut Housing Corporation is planning to have 130 public housing units constructed in 2020-21.

Iqaluit is slated to benefit from 70 public housing units in 2020-21 while 60 more will be divided among Nunavut’s other communities. photo courtesy Nunavut Housing Corporation

Seventy of those units will be built in Iqaluit. Naujaat and Pond Inlet come next at 15 residences each. Hall Beach and Kugaaruk will each get 10 homes. Gjoa Haven and Kimmirut will get five public housing unit each. Gjoa Haven will also receive five staff housing units, as will Kugluktuk and Sanikiluaq.

The overall total includes units deferred from previous years and fire-damaged or destroyed rebuilds.

Housing Minister Patterk Netser said the communities with the greatest numbers of people on their waiting lists are given top priority. The GN will contribute $17.5 million towards this year’s public housing construction while the remainder of the money will come from the federal government, according to Netser.

“I encourage MLAs in their constituent communities to meet with the local housing organizations and encourage people to apply for housing,” said Netser.

Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main pointed out that the 10-year Inuit Housing Action Plan called for 3,000 public housing units back in 2004.

“Here we sit more than 15 years later and I believe that number has only grown. I believe the number is about 3,500 units now,” said Main.

Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak also expressed a sense of urgency and desperation for more houses to be built.

“Many residents in Nunavut have no housing and I need to advocate on their behalf and to try to help them as they don’t have any place to go to, with some adult children reaching into their 40s and older still residing with their aging parents. I ask our government: Why are we in this situation?” said Akoak. “I implore the federal government to assist us as we have dire needs here in Nunavut, with (us) being the people sovereign to Nunavut who have absolutely no housing or homes increasing. I ask the government again: do your duty and tell the federal government we do need more housing.”