A plan to tackle housing concerns in Enterprise will set its sights on providing more homes for seniors and affordable housing for other residents.
Tammy Neal, Enterprise’s senior administrative officer, said by email to Cabin Radio she expects the plan to be released in late November or early December.
The NWT Housing Corporation and communities across the territory are working to create plans that outline gaps in housing supply and how those problems can be addressed. Whatì’s plan is so far the only one to be released.
Neal said aspirations in Enterprise include construction of a multi-unit seniors’ complex and affordable rentals – such as an apartment building with one and two-bedroom options and fixed or capped rent.
The number of seniors living in Enterprise is growing, said Neal, but smaller, affordable units aren’t available.
“Seniors will have more comfortable and affordable housing options in the future if they have the ability to downsize,” she said.
The lack of subsidized housing and rental opportunities is considered a barrier to welcoming new residents to Enterprise, especially young people and families.
A housing forum will be held before the plan is finalized, but has been delayed due to Covid-19.
“Staff capacity, in-person meetings, and travel have all been restricted since mid-March, but we are starting to emerge wisely as per the chief public health officer’s orders, so hopefully we can host a forum in October once an exposure plan is prepared,” Neal said.
The length of the plan, determined with community input, could be five to 10 years.
Tom Williams, the housing corporation’s president, previously told Cabin Radio he hopes all 33 community plans will be completed in the life of the current government.
“We have about 10 or 12 that have gone through and are close to final … we’re very close on a number of others that there will be some announcements on shortly,” Williams said at the end of August.
Enterprise needs help repairing homes and accessing more housing assistance programs, Neal said.
She hopes such programs can be amended to provide more flexibility, saying residents currently struggle to meet their criteria.
The plan is also expected to touch on the issue of developing land to accommodate more buildings.
Neal hopes the plan’s completion and implementation may allow the community to hire more local employees.
Citing the community’s proximity to Hay River and the hamlet’s location on the highway, she said: “Enterprise will be able to grow and prosper through greater opportunities and a greater interest in development in Enterprise.”