Inuvik Twin Lakes
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As you are aware, housing is a basic necessity that everyone needs, especially here in the North, where temperatures swing dramatically. Recently, we received the NWT Bureau of Statistics 2019 Housing Indicators Community Survey. Shortly after that, CBC released a new story in which it was outlined, and some have called housing here in the North a crisis. This is not the first time in recent memory that this term has been used or hinted at to describe our housing situation. Last year, a housing summit was held in Inuvik where similar issues were raised.
Housing in every community throughout the Northwest Territories is getting worse, Mr. Speaker. The 2019 NWT Community Survey says that 42 percent of all houses in the territory have at least one major problem, and this is up from 20 percent in the 2016 federal census.
CBC compared the results of the 2019 NWT Community Survey with the 2016 census results and found a dramatic change in the number of households with core housing needs, a term used by national housing authorities to determine the number of households that are too expensive for residents and are not suitable in other ways, like overcrowding or the need for major repairs.
In Inuvik, we have had some new additions to housing that was done in partnership with the Inuvialuit, but this was just replacements. It was done with the Inuvialuit, but this is a far cry from what the actual need is in my community. This is a great example of GNWT working with Indigenous governments to bring more housing online in the communities. More of this type of collaboration needs to occur.
We have had people waiting for housing and have been on housing lists for years because the demand for housing is simply too much for our current allocations. We also have prices of homes in Inuvik that simply put owning a home out of the reach of many of my constituents. We need to find creative ways to help address this issue and help our residents have adequate affordable housing.
We need to fix this, Mr. Speaker. Later today, I will have questions for the Minister responsible for housing as to what this government is going to do to address this issue, because it is clearly getting worse. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.