N.W.T. minister says housing for teachers a challenge

An official in the N.W.T. government says dealing with complaints about housing from the territory's teachers is not a simple task.

Finding housing for teachers isn't as simple as buying houses, said a Northwest Territories deputy minister.

Dana Heide, the Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, said the government has to consider the housing needs for many people.

"This is a broader issue than just teachers. We have to look to our partners and develop an ongoing sustainable plan with the department of health for nurses, social workers and doctors, with human resources for other positions in the communities," Heide said.

Heide was responding to a report released by the Northwest Territories Teachers' Association which says about 60 per cent of teachers feel their housing is not adequate.

The territory's education councils released a similar report, with similar findings, on teachers' housing in 2008.

At the time, the Minister of Education, Jackson Lafferty, said the best option was to train northern teachers so that they could be hired in their own communities and reduce the money spent on moving staff in and out of the North.

Five years later, the education department is still working on it.