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Housing

Housing Corp to review decades-old legislation as it rebrands


Housing legislation dating back decades will be examined as the NWT Housing Corporation makes the leap to a new identity: Housing NWT.

The shift in name was announced on Wednesday alongside a new logo. The corporation is carrying out an internal review addressing what it has termed a “need for change.” MLAs had called for a review last year.

Legislation creating the corporation was first passed in 1972. The current legislation governing the corporation dates to 1988, though it has since been amended many times.

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James Fulford, the corporation’s associate deputy minister, said the review of housing programs and policies would be followed by work to ensure “the legislation that creates the corporation doesn’t hold us back, doesn’t restrict us in any way.”

“We aren’t sure whether the current legislation restricts us. The legislation essentially creates the housing corporation and it’s fairly permissive, but it’s not modern,” he said.

“It doesn’t refer specifically to things like self-governments that have happened in the last 20 or 30 years. The legislation is almost 50 years old, so we see the potential need for changes.”

Housing minister Paulie Chinna said in February what is now Housing NWT would work to better recognize the importance of social supports within housing, not just physical infrastructure.

Fulford said the organization hopes to have new or revised programs and policies in place by April 1, 2023, and the review process will include examination of GNWT approaches to housing by Indigenous governments.

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“I can’t see how you can be any more accountable than putting it all out there and getting input on all your programs and policies from Indigenous governments across the Northwest Territories,” he said.

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