This is page numbers 1779 - 1798 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 housing.

Topics

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In developing the core needs threshold for the Northwest Territories, it's an ongoing process. The last time it was updated was 2015, but we do hear a lot of concerns regarding the core need income threshold. We are taking a look at it. Also, I want to keep the Member informed that we do charge the 30 percent of the tenant's annual income, and we are the lowest across Canada looking at the needs that we do have and looking at the cost of living in the Northwest Territories. We do try to work very effectively with our residents throughout the territory to making sure that our program is affordable and it meets the needs of the people of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

The core needs income threshold policy has been in effect for at least 20 years or more. Does the Minister feel that the time has come to eliminate this discriminatory policy and replace this policy with something that suits the needs of seniors in the 21st century?

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

The Housing Corporation has developed this criteria in order to program deliver and to meet the needs of the Northwest Territories, as well. I just want to say that the last time that this was updated was 2015, and it did take an exclusive amount of detail throughout the Northwest Territories to determine our final reporting. It doesn't stop the Housing Corporation from taking a look at this policy and seeing what it is that we need to furthermore investigate and furthermore acknowledge through the policy to meet the needs of the people of the territory.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Will the Minister commit to review the policy of core needs income threshold in order to properly account for one's level of mobility and social and safety needs for seniors?

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

I hear the Member's comments, as well, because seniors in the Northwest Territories do require housing but then adequate housing. We need to be making sure that we meet the needs that our housing that is developed and the programs that we offer do meet the needs of the seniors but also accessibility and mobility, as well. Yes, I am open to looking at that core needs threshold and taking a look at it and reviewing it because of the needs for seniors have changed significantly over the past 20 years, so I will follow-up with the Member.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Thebacha.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister consider a universal flat market rental rate to all seniors who apply for public housing regardless of their income. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

I hear where the Member is coming from, and I thank her for her advocacy for the seniors throughout the Northwest Territories. We do need to consider that we do have families. We do have single parents. We do have people that are fighting addiction. We do have a low-income program that is adequately available to the people who are low-income earners. I would have to find a balance for that in looking at how we are going to work with the seniors and how are we going to work with the struggling parents and the struggling families, as well, so that our programs are received adequately. Right now, I would like to take a look at the core need income threshold and look at the comparisons and the needs that are required within the last report that was completed in 2015. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 502-19(2): Seniors Housing
Oral Questions

Page 1782

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I have questions for the housing Minister. Crisis in housing for Paulatuk: What's the status for the emergency shelter planned for Paulatuk? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Minister responsible for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Looking at the emergency shelter for Paulatuk, I would have to revisit that initiative, and I would have to get a further update on if that was concluded for the community or what was the reason that we did not construct that facility. I would also have to follow-up with my colleague for the department of health, as well, if we are providing such as service. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

I'm going to rephrase that question because it's not an emergency shelter. Housing has an emergency house if something goes wrong, somebody's house burns down or some emergency. Last year, I was told in the House that there is a unit, but that they were waiting to get it furnished. Is that unit available for the community now?

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you to the Member for rephrasing that question. Last year, the Housing Corporation did set aside a number of houses throughout the Northwest Territories to deal with COVID-19, and should we have an outbreak in the communities, these units were set aside for that use. I will have to follow-up with my department. Right now, it is a priority, and I'm looking at: Should we have an outbreak, I would still like to have those units available in the high Arctic communities should we end up having to use them in the future.

Question 503-19(2): Housing Shortage in Nunakput
Oral Questions

Page 1782

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

I think we have to have a unit for the community. I have people that haven't, been trying to get into housing for over a year now. I keep sending letters in to the Minister to no avail in regards to one individual in the community. If there's a house available for that, is he eligible to go into and to use that unit? Will people be able to go into that unit to stay warm because it's minus 40 or 50 below back home, and it's really needed.