Frustrated by housing shortage, NWT couple builds their own home
Fort Providence couple decided to skip the long line for public housing and build a small home instead
Joe and Elsie Lacorne are working hard on their house — a dream in the making for nearly two years.
Right now it's more of a large insulated plywood box, open on the inside. But it's a substantial improvement from their current living situation, two tiny sheds across from the work in progress, which they share with their children and two-year-old grandchild.
"The first year that we got our lot was an exciting moment," said Joe with a smile.
The couple's new home is located on the outskirts of Fort Providence, a hamlet with a population of roughly 700 people, and an estimated two year wait-list for public housing.
'There's a lot of people waiting'
"If you apply for a house today you'll have to wait for two years."
Fed up, Joe and Elsie decided to take matters into their own hands. They bought a lot and started building the house from whatever materials they could afford at the time, piece by piece.
Joe's income from odd jobs and Elsie's Employment Insurance payments help buy the lumber on trips to Hay River. Without a truck of their own, though, they have to pay to transport the materials to the construction site.
"It was getting close to winter and they didn't have a roof on, so we decided to help them out," says Mazerolle.
The house still needs interior walls, electricity, insulation for the floor and all the other comforts that make a house a home. But for Joe and Elsie, it's close enough. They hope to move in by March or April.
"We'll keep on working, and see how far we can get it this year," says Joe.