Feds pledge $2.6M for 10 housing units in Délı̨nę
Investment 'will go a long way' to address housing issues said Délı̨nę councillor
Ten new affordable housing units will be built in Délı̨nę, according to an announcement by the federal, N.W.T., and Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę governments.
The $2.6 million project will turn the former Délı̨nę Wellness Centre into accessible units primarily meant for those most vulnerable — like elders, single women, people who struggle with mental health or addiction issues, and those who are experiencing homelessness.
The units are expected to be completed by August 2022 and the funding is coming from the federal government's Rapid Housing Initiative.
"This is a very important announcement that will go a long way to help us with our housing issues," said Leonard Kenny, a councillor in Délı̨nę, who appeared at Tuesday's announcement on behalf of Ɂekw'ahtı̨dǝ́ Leeroy Andre, the community's elected leader, who was out on the land. (Ɂek'wahtı̨dǝ́ means "highest honest leader" in the Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę dialect.)
Because the cost of living is so high up North, Kenny said it's hard to find affordable places to live, especially in his fly-in community. "We really depend on financial assistance to help us with our housing issues," he said.
Micheal McLeod, N.W.T.'s Liberal MP, made the announcement Tuesday on behalf of Ahmed Hussen, who is the federal minister of housing and diversity and inclusion. Paulie Chinna, the territory's housing minister, who also attended the announcement, said affordable housing is a top priority for the current Legislative Assembly.
"The most effective way we can address the housing crisis in the N.W.T. is through partnership. Housing is a complex issue that one organization cannot solve alone," she said.
Chinna said the territorial government would pay for building equipment for the housing project, valued at around $900,000.
"This project makes clear what we can do when we work together to benefit our people," said Chinna.
"Too often it is our most vulnerable who are often left struggling."