Ambitious plan to create 3,000 homes announced in Nunavut
News release does not say how housing project will be funded
An ambitious housing plan for Nunavut was laid out on Tuesday.
Two organizations — the government-operated Nunavut Housing Corporation (NHC) and Inuit-owned NCC Development Limited (NCCD) — announced a plan to make 3,000 homes by 2030.
The signing of the partnership agreement is part of Igluliuqatigiingniq, a name that means building houses together. It's also referred to as the Nunavut 3000 Strategy.
Its goal is to build a variety of housing in all 25 communities. The strategy includes the construction of 300 transitional housing units, 1,400 public housing units, 900 affordable housing units and 400 market homes.
In a joint news release, the organizations said the agreement combines their strengths in delivering more housing for Nunavummiut.
The release said NCCD will deliver up to 2,000 new housing units across the territory. This past spring, the Nunavut government committed to develop at least 1,000 housing units.
"Our organization's mission is to mobilize northern resources to build facilities by and for Nunavummiut," said NCCD chairperson Harry Flaherty in a statement.
The news release does not say how the housing project will be funded. At an announcement in Rankin Inlet on Tuesday, the housing corporation said it will cost about $2.6 billion to build all 3,000 units, and about 35 per cent of that will come from the private sector. The remaining amount will come from the public sector.
The plan is to build 360 of these homes next year.
Housing has been a long-time issue in Nunavut, with about 3,545 households in need of housing as of a 2020 territorial report.
NHC Minister Lorne Kusugak said Tuesday he is "humbled by the swiftness of how this plan came together."
In a statement, he said Nunavut is "committed to being accountable and transparent" to residents when it comes to housing. "Together, with NCCD and the Government of Nunavut, we will fulfill the promise of Nunavut by creating new housing in all communities.
"We're not just building units, we're building homes, we're building security, we're building stability for now and future generations," he said.
In the NHC's 2020-21 annual report, it says construction on 20 public housing units and 12 staff housing units were completed that fiscal year. Several construction projects, including housing, have since been cancelled due to rising costs.
Eiryn Devereaux, the president and CEO of the Nunavut Housing Corporation, said the plan in part is to incentivize the private sector to invest in building affordable homes.
"If the market opportunity is there for them, then they will invest their money," he said.
"We want to figure out how to incentivize partners, private sector [and the] not-for-profit community housing sector to be more involved."
The territory also says it spent more than $26 million to deal with mould in public housing since 2016, and it added $7 million to manage mould in its 2022-23 budget.
According to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which represents Inuit across Canada, it will take about $3 billion over the next decade to build and repair existing housing across Inuit Nunangat — which includes Inuit territory in N.W.T., Nunavut, northern Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
With files from Jackie McKay and the Canadian Press