North

N.W.T. Housing Corporation to dispose of 101 public housing units

The N.W.T. Housing Corporation has 101 empty public housing units it plans to sell or demolish over the next two years. The houses are all former rental units that require substantial repairs.

'We will end up replacing these units once they are taken off our inventory,' says CEO

A boarded-up public housing unit in Behchoko, N.W.T. Out of the current 101 decommissioned public housing units in the territory, 71 are up for sale and 30 are marked for demolition. (Curtis Mandeville/CBC)

The N.W.T. Housing Corporation has 101 empty public housing units it plans to sell or demolish over the next two years — all former rental units that require substantial repairs.

In total, the corporation has 2,400 public housing units across the Northwest Territories and is required to dispose of old stock before it is allowed to build new units.

'We put a unit on the surplus list if it is beyond its economic life and the cost of repairing would be so high that a replacement would provide a better long term value,' says Tom Williams, president and CEO of the N.W.T. Housing Corporation.

"We will end up replacing these units once they are taken off our inventory. This whole initiative of disposing the units falls under the 18th assembly mandate of freeing up land for suitable and safe affordable housing."

Since 2014, the corporation has sold 43 dilapidated public housing units and demolished 51 units.

"We have managed to sell a few of the units to either individuals or different organizations — community governments or Aboriginal governments," Williams said. 

'We put a unit on the surplus list if it is beyond its economic life and the cost of repairing would be so high that a replacement would provide a better long term value,' says Tom Williams, N.W.T. Housing Corporation president and CEO. (CBC)

"We would like to see higher sales, but some of these units are in poor condition and need major upgrades"

Out of the current 101 decommissioned units, Williams said 71 are up for sale and 30 are marked for demolition. He said the homes are priced between $20,000 and $50,000.

A training opportunity

With all the demolition on the horizon, Williams said the corporation is planning a training program for local residents to learn about the trade.

"We will be looking at piloting a community training program, where we would work with the local housing organizations and try to hire youth or individuals interested in trades to assist in the demolition to get some exposure to the trade," Williams said.

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