Feds announce $27M for housing in Nunavut

Nunavut has a goal of building 3,000 homes by 2030.

A territory in desperate need of more homes received some much-needed news Friday.

Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser announced $27 million for home-building in Nunavut, with $8.9 million designated for the capital of Iqaluit.

Fraser said each community will be able to adopt its housing strategies.

“The value that we receive for these investments will make a meaningful difference,” he told a news conference, “by not simply paying for the construction of new homes, but by changing the rules and practice around how homes get built.”

The money is coming from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Accelerator Fund.

“The kinds of changes that are being made through the leadership of local levels of government, include the development of a private land development framework that’s going to help reduce the cost of building,” Fraser added.

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It is expected that 450 units will be built in 22 communities over the next three years.

In Iqaluit, downtown density restrictions will be removed to allow larger six-story buildings, the news conference heard Friday.

“This is how important your vote is as Nunavummiut,” noted MP Lori Idlout (NDP), who was on hand for the announcement. “Voting does make a difference, and when you make sure you elect people you feel can make a difference, they will work hard for you – then you will see the results.”

Nunavut Housing Minister Lorne Kusugak said the money will help the territory meet its goal of building 3,000 homes by the end of the decade.

“We are on schedule for our Nunavut 3000 plan,” Kusugak told reporters. “… we look forward to more announcements like this to ensure all Nunavummiut have a safe environment for which they can call their home.”

Fraser said more details would be released once housing agreements with all 22 Nunavut communities were signed.

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