A Yellowknife man who was facing a $1,600 monthly rent increase is all smiles after the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation reversed that decision.
Neil Woledge has been living at the Mary Murphy Seniors Home in Yellowknife since 2007. Previously a heavy duty mechanic, he moved into the seniors’ home after being laid off and put on income support.
The Mary Murphy Seniors Home is public housing, and governed by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.
Job leads to rent hike
Woledge's rental problems began when he got a part-time job this summer to help him "get by." Under NWT Housing Corp. rules, rents are scaled: meaning that as someone's income rises, so does their subsidized rent.
"They jumped the rent up from … $40 it was the first year. And then it's gone to $80 and I just recently got a bill for a month and it's $1,625 for this little package," he told CBC News from his apartment, about the same size as a university dorm room.
When he got a letter telling him his rent was skyrocketing after his first day of work, the 70-year-old Woledge emailed the housing corporation. When he didn't hear back from them, he went to their office. CBC News also called the housing corporation to find some answers.
Woledge says after that, the corporation told him they're dropping his rent back to $80 a month. He says he's happy his rental ordeal ends happily. But his story is emblematic of the problems many seniors face in trying to find housing in Yellowknife, one seniors' housing expert tells CBC News.
"The market rental rate in Yellowknife is $1,600," says Jeff Renauld, who works with seniors. "It's easy to see why people run out of money and can't afford to live here as they retire."