This is page numbers 105 - 162 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was going.

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Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Madam Chair. I am just looking at the transition of 100 individuals and/or families to home ownership. I think it's so important, this item. I think that, if people have ownership in their homes, they'll take pride in it. They'll take care of it. I'm looking here at how. When we go through this exercise, the how is the most important thing, how we get there. I'm looking at the lease-to-own policy developed and promoted. I would like to ask the Premier: if this policy is developed and promoted, how is land tenure part of this? Is it included in here? Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Madam Premier. Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you for your comment. The land tenure issue and the home ownership issue are two different departments. Department of Lands would be dealing with the land tenure, and housing would be dealing with the home ownership program. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Madam Premier.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. We will have to look into it, but I do believe that public-housing units are on their own property, so the land tenure wouldn't be an issue. It would go with them. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Madam Premier. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

February 12th, 2020

Page 121

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I am hearing a couple of different accounts here. I just want to make sure I get this straight in my head. Do I need to direct this question to the Minister of Lands? I didn't hear that.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Madam Premier.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. I had to get clarification. It has been a couple of years since I was the housing Minister. Housing owns their own property. The housing units that would be transferred to home ownership, the land tenure would go with those homes. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Madam Premier. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Madam Chair. I think I am good here. The Premier answered my question, and I'm satisfied with the answer. Mahsi cho.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

We'll move to the Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Chair. Like the Premier, my career immediately prior to coming into the Assembly was with housing, a non-profit housing agency, and I just want to talk about the numbers for a second. The first is that a significant portion of the housing stock, something like 30 percent, is 40 years old or older. That means that, out of those 2,400 houses, about 800 of them are going to be finished their useful life within the next 10 years. That's 800 houses. There are 900 people on the waiting list for housing across the NWT; about a third of them are in Yellowknife. Some of those people are on the waiting list because income assistance demands that they be there, but some of those people on those waiting lists need housing. They are not income-assistance recipients; they are low-income earners, or there are no other housing alternatives in their communities.

The next thing I want to say is that the vast majority of high-income earners in public housing are in Yellowknife, and there are no ownership options in Yellowknife. I am really struggling with understanding how 100 houses is going to make a dent in the age of the homes, the number of people on the waiting lists, and the homeownership options that are available in Yellowknife, so I would be very interested to hear from the Premier on these points. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Madam Premier.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 121

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

There are homeownership opportunities in Yellowknife, our large capital. The homeless assistance program, I can't remember the acronym for it, does help people try to get into their own homes. I'm trying to think if it was income support; I've had too many portfolios, now. Housing does the housing supplement; the rent supplement program is with housing. So the rent supplement program is with the Housing Corporation.

I was in social work for over 20 years and working in Yellowknife with homeless people, and I never even knew about the program, so I think that what we've done wrong, and, again, the government, I've said that for the last four years, the worst thing about the government is we're bad communicators. We're just so busy trying to keep on top of the water that we forget to get things communicated. I think that the rent supplement program needs to be promoted more, out there more, because that helps the majority of middle-income and lower-income families, and then the rent for income support needs to be utilized more for low-income families. Again, the federal government is supposed to be coming with another initiative that they will be providing housing support. Hopefully, that will come through fairly soon, and, if not, then we have an obligation to step up.

So there are housing needs in Yellowknife. There are huge housing needs in Yellowknife. We have to look at expanding our rent supplement, but we also have housing needs in every single small community, and we can't forget the small communities. Because Yellowknife has 100 wait list; the small community, one community might only have 10 people on a waiting list, but those 10 people on the wait list might all be living in one home, and so that is the balance that we always have to meet. We will never have enough to do everything in four years, but we have to start chipping away. Thank you, Madam Chair.