Nunavut MLAs say public housing units not fairly distributed
Some MLAs are unhappy with the distribution of public housing units to be built in Nunavut over the next two years.
The federal government allocated $100 million for 210 new units.
Peter Taptuna, who is the Minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, said last week that 12 communities will get the new houses.
But four MLAs want to know why their communities were not selected; they are upset that the majority of the units — 64 per cent — are going to communities represented by cabinet ministers.
“In Pond Inlet there are 61 people waiting for housing. Yet the town didn't get even one house. These 61, that's more than in some other communities,” said Tununiq MLA Joe Enook.
Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt said the allocation system seems unfair. He said in the past, distribution of new units was more equitable.
“The fact that every community received some assistance, even if it was just a few new units, demonstrated to the public that the cabinet was committed to the well-being of all communities,” said Rumbolt.
Taptuna defended the way the communities were selected. He said the Housing Corporation board developed a fair and transparent formula based on need, waiting lists and a community's capacity to handle more infrastructure.
He said some communities were not selected because their power plant's generating capacity is limited.
“But I have to say, Mr. Speaker, when I showed the list initially to my cabinet colleagues, without hesitation they agreed with it. There was no political interference. It was all based on needs,” said Taptuna in the legislature.
The housing corporation said if there is money left over, more units could be built in other communities.