Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Acting President James Eetoolook today called the deficiencies of the Nunavut Housing Corporation unacceptable.
“It is unacceptable for the NHC to spend an estimated $110 million more than the $300 million allotted to build public housing in Nunavut. Unfortunately, this is only one example of how NHC is not meeting the needs of Inuit,” said Eetoolook.
Immediately after securing $200 million for public housing in 2006, the NHC walked away from its housing partnership with NTI, as defined by the 2004 GN/NTI 10 Year Inuit Housing Action Plan. The government chose instead, in defiance of Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Article 32, to develop and implement the Nunavut Housing Trust initiative without Inuit participation. The results are disastrous and have far reaching effects beyond the monetary loss.
“Our collective credibility to responsibly manage federal funds is undermined. The government promised in their initiative to train and produce an Inuit workforce skilled in construction. This has not happened and has left many hopes and dreams unfulfilled. Further, the final per unit cost of $525,000 greatly exceeds the initial forecast, as well as current market rates for construction, and calls into question the tendering and procurement processes that are supposed to safeguard against inflated costs,” said Eetoolook.
NTI has asked the GN to meaningfully re-include NTI on a solution to this crisis. NTI is concerned about the competency of the NHC, and wants a thorough review of the NHC, including alternative possibilities to deliver much needed public housing to Inuit in Nunavut.