Iqaluit Elders’ Society hopes to build 42-unit elders residence

The Elders Society of Iqaluit in Nunavut is looking for federal help to build a 42-unit residence for Elders who are caught up in the territory’s housing crisis.

Currently, the city is home to one assisted living facility with a capacity of eight.

“It’s for Elders who are capable of looking after themselves in the units. It’s not a place where people will be staying who need to be in care,” said Jaime Flaherty, project consultant with the society.

It’s expected to have shared kitchen and laundry facilities but residents will have their own spaces. They also hope the building will host a pharmacy, daycare, sewing rooms as well as a country food outlet among other amenities.

The society already possesses the land they are looking to build on and has done geotechnical studies for the area.

At this time, they’re working with the City of Iqaluit on getting the zoning designation on the lot changed to facilitate the type of building they hope to construct as well as obtaining a contractor for the project.

The society said it applied to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to help with financing the project. According to the society, it hasn’t heard any information back. APTN News reached out to the CMHC but the organization wouldn’t confirm that an application had been received.

The proposed facility would help long-time Inuit government employees who are retiring and leaving staff housing, but still want to call Nunavut home, said Flaherty.

“There’s a very high shortage of housing, I don’t know what the waiting list is for housing but there’s a huge demand for them and the elders who are currently retiring like for example from the government are caught in an area where they don’t have a house,” he said.

They hope to secure the bulk of the funding from the federal government.

Flaherty said this project is very much in the public interest, as Nunavut’s elders are all too often caught up in the territory’s housing crisis. Which is marked by a shortage, overcrowding, poor-quality homes, homelessness and contributes to negative health outcomes.

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