Starting this fall in Nunavut more people will pay the minimum $60 rent in public housing as part of the territorial government's poverty reduction initiative.

The goal is to encourage more Nunavummiut to find work without fearing higher rent.

Under the Nunavut Housing Corporation’s new rent scale, rents will no longer be based on the income of the whole household but will be based on the two primary leaseholders. If their income goes up, rent won't rise until the following year, and not all at once.

New Nunavut Housing Corporation rent scale

  • A minimum rent of $60/month for income under $22,000
  • 20% of annual income between $22,000 and $40,000
  • 25% of annual income between $40,000 and $80,000
  • 30% of annual income between $80,000 and $97,200
  • Over $97,200 up to maximum rents

Elders will pay rent based on a smaller proportion of their income and the minimum income at which rents kick in will go up.

Sixty per cent of Nunavummiut live in public housing. Right now over half of them pay the minimum rent of $60 a month because they earn less than $15,600 a year.

When the changes take effect, 75 per cent of tenants will pay the minimum rent.

The government says the changes will amount to $2.4 million in lost revenue in the first year, but says that cost could be recovered if just 500 people were able to earn more money and get off income support.