A file photo of homes in Behchokǫ̀. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Eighteen new affordable modular homes will be built across the four Tłı̨chǫ communities with funding from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative.
NWT MP Michael McLeod said on Monday $3.9 million will be provided to construct the homes, which will then be given to individuals and families.
A representative of the Tłı̨chǫ Government later said seven homes will be allocated to Behchokǫ̀, including three two-bedroom duplexes and a three-bedroom single unit.
Two homes will go to Wekweètì and four to Gamètì, each two-bedroom duplexes. Five are allocated to Whatì, including two two-bedroom duplexes and a three-bedroom single unit.
The $3.9 million announced on Monday comes from the Rapid Housing Initiative, run by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which is designed to quickly build homes to address needs across the country. It is separate to a $60-million NWT housing fund separately allocated in March, which is funding 126 units across the NWT.
The Tłı̨chǫ units have a planned completion date of March 2022, though McLeod said some challenges have been identified.
Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief George Mackenzie said the money will help the housing crisis the communities face, but more still needs to be done.
“Affordable, suitable housing is a top priority for our government, and we are committed to working with our partners to help find solutions to the severe housing crisis plaguing the entire region,” Mackenzie said.
“It is important for us to work together in unity to help each other improve the housing situation, to address the crucial critical housing issues in our region, to build stronger communities.”
Mackenzie said many homes in the region need to be repaired. He hopes to more work in the future will focus on repairing existing buildings.
Correction: July 26, 2021 – 15:16 MT. Due to an editing error, this article initially conflated the Rapid Housing Initiative with the federal co-investment fund that earlier provided $60 million to the NWT for housing. The report has been updated to make clear the difference between the two.