The Aspen Apartments building in June 2021. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio
Nearly $8 million in funding was announced for 36 affordable homes in Yellowknife on Friday.
The funding will go toward converting the Aspen Apartment complex into permanent housing units. The building was formerly federal staff housing.
“These new homes will help house Indigenous people, women with children and those who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness,” explained a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation news release. The apartments will be owned and operated by Housing NWT.
The new funding comes from two federal initiatives: $5 million from Reaching Home, and $2.9 million through the Federal Land Initiative, which sees surplus federal properties transferred to eligible organizations at either a steep discount or no cost, to promote affordable, sustainable, and socially inclusive housing.
“The city looks forward to seeing this project come to fruition,” Mayor of Yellowknife Rebecca Alty was quoted as saying. The $5 million in Reaching Home funding was initially awarded to the municipality, which chose to apply it to this project.
City Hall had also dedicated an earlier chunk of Reaching Home funding to the same project at a meeting in February.
“Homelessness is a reality for too many people in Yellowknife, and we are working to ensure everyone in our community has a safe place to call home, while also creating jobs for the local economy,” said NWT Liberal MP Michael McLeod in a news release.
“This investment … will help our most vulnerable citizens, and will make a difference in the ongoing work to end homelessness and ensure housing affordability in Northwest Territories and across the country.”
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation considers housing to be affordable when a household spends less than 30 percent of its pre-tax income on shelter.