$1M for housing repair program or else, regular MLAs tell N.W.T. gov't
'It's a matter of principle,' says Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green
The N.W.T.'s latest budget won't become law until the government agrees to roll back a proposed cut to the N.W.T. Housing Corporation, says one MLA.
"It's a matter of principle," said Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green.
The latest budget, released Wednesday, included plans to reduce funding to two housing programs by $1,013,000. The programs are PATH, which encourages home ownership, and CARE, which stands for Contributing Assistance for Repairs and Enhancements.
Both programs also get funding from the federal government, but that money will run out in two years.
Green acknowledges that PATH — Providing Assistance for Territorial Homeownership — was not well used, but says regular MLAs are unanimous that they don't want to see any funding to the N.W.T. Housing Corp. cut.
"We are suggesting it all go into the home repair program," she said, noting the great need for home repairs in the communities.
The budget can't be approved without the support of at least three regular MLAs.
Green says all regular MLAs are standing together and are optimistic they'll win support.
"It's a relatively small amount of money," Green told Loren McGinnis, host of The Trailbreaker Thursday morning. "We're hoping that they will listen to us and put that money back in so we can have unanimous support."
When the budget was presented to the media on Wednesday, the deputy minister of Finance, Mike Aumond,was asked if it was typical of the government to reduce spending to the N.W.T. Housing Corporation.
Aumond said it wasn't, unless the government was in the grim fiscal situation it's in now.