Mr. Speaker, since getting elected last year, I have assisted my constituents with a wide range of different issues, spanning all of the major departments of the Government of the Northwest Territories. By far, though, the one department I have dealt with the most has been the NWT Housing Corporation. In fact, I would estimate that roughly 90 percent of all my constituent concerns involve housing.
Mr. Speaker, I have noticed a concerning trend regarding housing in the NWT, particularly public housing. I am seeing a trend of mistreatment to vulnerable people, specifically for seniors and low-income people. As an example, just in the last two weeks alone, I have dealt with three constituents who are facing potential eviction from their rental units, two of whom are seniors. At a time during a global pandemic and with winter upon us, these sorts of actions by the Housing Corporation are unacceptable and must stop immediately.
Furthermore, I have also tried to help several constituents find more suitable housing for their situations. However, I continually, always, get a response back stating that the client's income is over the core net income threshold as per NWT housing policy. Anyone with an income above the core need income threshold is considered to have sufficient income to address their own housing needs, thus is ineligible for any NWT housing programs. Again, Mr. Speaker, this type of policy is not acceptable in its current form because people are falling through the cracks and are being adversely affected as a result. This policy therefore must be re-examined and changed because it is causing more harm and more headaches for long-term residents of the NWT, especially my constituents of Thebacha.
Another major issue with this Minister and her department is the lack of communication from emails I have sent to her about my constituents, along with my concerns, as ordinary MLA, regarding awarding of contracts that were done by the RCMP contract homes. In the last budget, there were funds allocated for two public housing units to be built in Fort Smith, which were not awarded, and contracts did not go out. I asked the Minister about this verbally and through email and still have not received an answer. I am concerned because there are major housing needs in Fort Smith. What happened to the allocations of these funds for these two units?
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, there are major communication gaps within the NWT Housing Corporation, and things have got to change. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.