Yellowknife Frame Lake
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On behalf of the Standing Committee on Finance, I would like to present our report on the NWT Housing Corporation.
The cuts in federal funding for housing programs in the NWT have forced a serious change of outlook on the corporation. While negotiations continue with the federal government and, as the Minister has just outlined, he doesn't expect funding levels to return to the $47 million that were cut, committee Members urge the corporation to prepare for a possible new reality of reduced federal funding, and to restructure in such a way as to better meet this challenge.
Therefore, the Standing Committee on Finance recommends that the NWT Housing Corporation develop a restructuring plan to be presented to the committee by January 9, 1995, which will allow the corporation to better meet the challenge of reduced funding.
Mr. Chairman, this restructuring should include consideration of more cost-effective ways of delivering housing programs, of constructing housing and of assisting northerners to purchase existing housing.
In considering how to best address the social housing needs of the NWT, the committee also encourages the corporation to consult with northern aboriginal organizations. It may be possible to access new federal funding for aboriginal housing and to provide that funding directly to aboriginal organizations. Those organizations can then provide more housing for those NWT aboriginal residents who need it the most.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, committee Members are anxious to see the completed transfer of responsibility for staff housing to the corporation.
The Standing Committee on Finance recommends that the NWT Housing Corporation finalize a plan for transferring responsibility for staff housing from the Department of Personnel and the Department of Public Works and Services to the corporation by April 1, 1995 and that the plan be presented to the House during the winter session before March 31, 1995.
Mr. Chairman, that completes the report of the Standing Committee on Finance. I would now like to present the two recommendations in the form of motions.