Mackenzie Delta gets new housing with new elders home, apartment complex

Fort McPherson has just gotten a new elders home and Inuvik, a new apartment building with units for singles.

Both facilities had ribbon-cutting ceremonies this week

Leaders celebrate the opening of a new 17-plex apartment building in Inuvik, N.W.T., on Friday. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

The Mackenzie Delta region in the Northwest Territories is celebrating lots of new housing with the recent completion of an elders home in Fort McPherson and a 17-plex apartment building in Inuvik.

"We are reaching out to some of our more vulnerable groups, which is singles and seniors," said Alfred Moses, the minister responsible for the N.W.T. Housing Corporation, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Inuvik on Friday.

"So we are addressing that and working with communities to build community housing plans."

Elders in Fort McPherson are currently living in public housing, so this building will free up those homes for other residents in the community.

"We have a couple of fully accessible units for people that are disabled or are in wheelchairs," said Tom Williams, president and CEO of the housing corporation.

When people move into this elders home in Fort McPherson, N.W.T., it will free up public housing in the community, says the territory's housing corporation. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

He said he believes the Fort McPherson nine-plex is one of five the corporation has built across the territory.

"We just have one more to open in Fort Good Hope," said Williams.

New apartments in Inuvik

The new apartment building in Inuvik will be replacing Sydney Apartments, which Williams said was built in the 1970s.

"It's aged and it was time to replace that unit with a new and more modern building," he said. 

"There's a high demand in Inuvik and other communities across the N.W.T. for singles housing, so we are very pleased that we can provide this accommodation."

People will be able to move into Inuvik's new apartment complex soon, says Tom Williams, president of the housing corporation. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Williams and Moses both recognize it took a while to complete the project, as construction began around 2015. 

"We had a contract failure and we had to re-tender it," said Williams.

"We had a number of deficiencies come up…. Whenever you have a contractor failure, it takes time to get the project going again."

Cofly Construction Ltd. ended up taking over and completing the project.

Jozef Carnogursky, president of the Nihtat Gwich'in Council, has been critical in the past about the long waiting list for public housing in Inuvik. On Friday, he was on hand for the opening of the new apartment building.

"They are modern, very nice units, and we are extremely pleased for that," he said.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction."

Williams said tenants will move into the facilities soon. The housing corporation is still in the process of figuring out what it will do with the Sydney apartment building once it's vacant.