Nunavut MLAs ask how federal housing money will be spent
Territory will get $100 million to build approximately 250 units
Nunavut MLAs want to know how the government will spend the $100 million for public housing announced recently in the federal budget.
The Nunavut government will get $30 million this year and $70 million next year to build approximately 250 units.
Peter Taptuna, minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, said the money still needs to be approved by the federal cabinet and that won't happen until June.
That raises questions for Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt.
"Can the minister indicate how his department will spend $30 million this year, considering that the shipping season will practically be over by the time the money is approved?" he asked in the legislative assembly.
Taptuna said the Housing Corporation is preparing for the new units.
"We're in discussions with Qulliq Energy Corporation, the hamlets, municipalities, to check for the availabilities of lots," he said. "That work is ongoing."
Rumbolt called on the minister to ensure every community gets some public housing. But Taptuna said units will be distributed on an "as needed" basis, after looking at waiting lists at local housing authorities and the 2010 Nunavut Housing Needs survey.
"In order for some of these communities to catch up, maybe some of these communities that are out there will not have any units allocated to them," Taptuna said.
He said he hopes the communities getting units will be chosen by late spring.