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Housing

MLAs launch housing review for homeowners, private landlords


A committee of NWT regular MLAs has launched a housing review by asking homeowners and private landlords how the territory can improve supports and expand programs.

This first round of consultation comes after regular MLAs passed a motion that calls on the territorial government to prioritize actions that address the NWT’s housing crisis.

Kam Lake MLA Caitlin Cleveland, who chair the legislature’s Standing Committee on Social Development, said the NWT government had tried multiple times to make homeownership easier in the past 50 years.

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Cleveland said the review will examine which current programs aren’t working, explore ideas for future programs, and identify ways to help more people become homeowners.

According to an information sheet released by the committee, half of the NWT’s housing is owned and the other half is rented. The committee said “housing issues” are more likely to happen in houses that are owned.

Many NWT communities don’t possess enough fit-for-purpose homes for their residents, while northerners must combat high costs to maintain their homes and a lack of private landlords or rental housing in places beyond Yellowknife and Inuvik.

“Housing is not something the government alone can solve. It’s not something any NGO alone can solve,” Cleveland said.

“It’s something that’s really going to take our entire communities coming together and working together in order to make this effective and make it efficient.”

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Cleveland’s committee plans a series of housing reviews. Once private landlords and homeowners are consulted, the committee expects to delve into problems associated with social housing, supportive housing, transitional housing, and emergency shelters.

People looking to provide feedback can do so until April 30 via written submission, email, or by setting up a presentation.

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