Nunavut Housing Trust construction wraps up
Final 19 of 726 units expected to be ready by spring
Construction under the Nunavut Housing Trust is almost complete as the final 19 of 726 units should welcome tenants by spring.
It was a six-year project marred by cost overruns and poor management and now the Nunavut Housing Corporation has taken a close look at what went wrong.
"It was a real challenge for both the government and the housing corporation, with the amount of staff that they had," said Peter Taptuna, Nunavut's Housing minister.
He said managing the $200 million Housing Trust was a learning experience, one documented in a frank report called "Lessons Learned" that details what went wrong.
The Nunavut Housing Corporation had no board of directors and no staff experienced in managing a project of this scale. Initiatives to hire and train Inuit apprentices were successful, but led to higher costs and longer timelines. Efforts to use local contractors helped local firms, but created more work for the Housing Corporation's headquarters which wound up acting as a general contractor.
Taptuna said in spite of all the problems, the agency hopes it will get more federal dollars to build houses for families in need.
He said Nunavut needs 3,500 housing units right away, and another 90 per year to keep up with the growing population.