This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

In the Legislative Assembly on February 9th, 2024. See this topic in context.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

Julian Morse

Julian Morse Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the housing Minister. First off, why is maintenance chronically underfunded? I'm curious to know what circumstances caused this challenge so we can better understand it as we're priority setting. Thank you.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Member from Frame Lake. Minister of Housing NWT.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

Lucy Kuptana

Lucy Kuptana Nunakput

(audio) maintenance with housing units is not chronically underfunded. We do have a budget for maintenance. It's throughout the Northwest Territories. A lot of times what we're finding is with timelines and entry into housing units, it sometimes crosses wires where the maintenance doesn't get done and we have to follow up with the tenants. We do have a budget. It is in place year after year. Sometimes that maintenance issue is pushed forward, but we do try our best to get the unit maintained to a safe manner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

February 9th, 2024

Julian Morse

Julian Morse Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Another question I have about Housing NWT is why do we cap the number of units in a community? And to give an example, Mr. Speaker, the Minister announced that the 50-unit project in Yellowknife, which I'm very excited about, but that won't actually result in more units of NWT Housing units in the community. So I'm curious to hear from the Minister why that is.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

Lucy Kuptana

Lucy Kuptana Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Why we cap the number of units in a community, most proposals and most funds from the federal government are provided by proposal. Unlike the Indigenous governments, we don't have actual distinction-based funding where a lump sum is provided to the government. Sometimes we're fortunate as a government to be able to be provided some funds, but most funds provided to this government are provided for specific projects. There's no need to cap projects or cap units or cap communities. It's based on needs. It's based on waiting lists, like the waiting list in Yellowknife. We have 330 people on the waiting list here in Yellowknife. We're providing what we can. We have over 330 units in Yellowknife. We do lease in Yellowknife to provide some of that stop gap between people waiting on the waiting list, but there's no intention to cap, and we do what we can with the funds that are provided. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

Julian Morse

Julian Morse Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Minister for the answers. So just coming back to the Minister's answer to my first question, I mean, it seems to me -- when I say chronically underfunded, what I'm speaking to is I'm constantly hearing from constituents, and the situation I've seen from myself, is that it seems like we don't have the means to maintain our stock. So I would just ask the Minister directly, I mean do we not need to increase funding in order to stabilize the capital budget to continue building and repairing units in the territory? Thanks, Mr. Speaker.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

Lucy Kuptana

Lucy Kuptana Nunakput

I'm just going to put my earpiece -- thank you, Mr. Speaker. Absolutely, I would love the support of this House to increase the maintenance budget for housing units across the North. There is so much work to be done. I mean, throughout the campaign, everyone was knocking on doors. We all know the conditions of homes in the North, and we know that there's a lot of work to do. And if we can do that as a House in our priorities and planning session, absolutely, let's look at that and let's increase that budget. But, again, like the finance Minister says, we're in a fiscal restraint and we have to be careful of where we're committing to at this point, but let's have that discussion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 48-20(1): Housing NWT Operations and Policies
Oral Questions

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Minister of Housing NWT. Final supplementary. Oral questions. Member from Yellowknife Centre.