$45m from Rapid Housing Initiative will go to 7 projects, housing minister says
The federal government spends $45 million build 101 permanent affordable housing units in Nunavut under the Rapid Housing Initiative project stream.
Federal Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen made the announcement during a virtual press conference Friday alongside Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal and Lorne Kusugak, Government of Nunavut Minister Responsible for the Housing Corporation. housing in Nunavut.
“101 houses is a big number for any part of the country, but especially in Nunavut. I know it will make a huge difference,” Hussen said.
In Iqaluit, the funding will support 18 houses in Court Joamie and 33 at Tundra Ridge, two quintuples at Room rangeone in Kimmirutthree in Naujaat, two in Kugaaruk and two in Entrance to the pond.
The construction of some projects has already started and, in some cases, has been completed, and some units are already occupied.
Hussen said housing in Nunavut will serve Inuit, with 50% of housing reserved for women and their children.
“Once completed, these units will support vulnerable people, including women and children and people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” Hussen said.
The Rapid Housing Initiative is a $2.5 billion program dedicated to the construction of more than 10,000 affordable housing units in Canada.
The $45 million funding is in addition to the contribution from the Nunavut Housing Corporation of $30 millionfor a total of $75 million towards seven projects on the territory.
As for the time frame in which Nunavummiut can expect to see new homes, Hussen said it could be around 18 months. The Rapid Housing Initiative generally stipulates that homes must be built within 12 months for people to move in, but due to the unique challenges of construction in the North, “we are usually a little more flexible with this requirement,” said Hussen said.
“As the cost of construction becomes more and more uncertain, efforts to find additional financing are becoming increasingly important. We hope this funding signifies the federal government’s continued commitment to housing,” Kusugak said in virtual media availability.
In an email to Nunatsiaq News, Nunavut MP Lori Idlout said Friday’s new housing announcement “should have happened a long time ago.”
“People in my riding in Nunavut are often forced to live in overcrowded and dilapidated homes due to lack of supplies and high rent costs. It has a negative impact on people’s physical and mental health,” she said.
She added that her predecessor, a former MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, released a report last year detailing “the deplorable state of housing in the territory”.
“Since then, not much has changed,” Idlout said. “Last summer, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. requested $500 million for housing in Nunavut, but the 2021 budget only provided $25 million.
“It is critical that the Liberal government listen to housing experts and address the gross underfunding of the Rapid Housing Initiative which pits communities against each other for the limited resources available. On top of that, New Democrats will continue to demand that the government deliver on its promise of an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy, which we promised in 2017,” said Idlout.