Paulie Chinna: Housing Delivery Status Update
Mr. Speaker, in the past two years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada has provided over 50 million dollars in funding support. This year Housing NWT is again delivering an exceptionally large capital program of over 104 million dollars.
Under the Federal Budget 2022, Housing NWT will be receiving an additional 60 million dollars for the delivery of 100 new public housing units. This annual capital delivery plan involves the construction and renovation of more than 510 housing units in the Northwest Territories. This plan includes investments in new public housing units, hundreds of major retrofits, a biomass district heating project and supporting the construction of some market housing units.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise that approximately 80% of this delivery is now either already completed or in the construction phase. To date, Housing NWT has awarded negotiated contracts to eight Indigenous governments and businesses for the delivery of 30 new housing units to: Delta North Alliance, Fort Smith Métis Council, Norman Wells Claimant Corporation, Hay River Métis Government Council, Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation, Deninu Kue First Nation, MYB Construction in Tulita and Techi?Q Ltd. in Délı̨nę. Also, under the Tłı̨chǫ Infrastructure Cooperation Agreement, Housing NWT awarded the construction of a Local Housing Organization Office and duplexes in Behchokǫ̀ and Whatı̀.
Mr. Speaker, as part of Housing NWT’s Strategic Renewal, Housing NWT has put a focus on engagement with Indigenous governments, and a good example is the implementation of this capital plan delivery.
This engagement does not only include negotiated contract opportunities but also opportunities for Indigenous governments to directly participate in housing design and other delivery aspects, such as site selection. Engagement and strong communication have been a major focus of our renewal efforts. In addition to our own delivery, we will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous governments, community governments, and
non-governmental organizations to help them access funding through the Government of Canada’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund.
Mr. Speaker, as part of our renewal we have taken a more client-focused approach.The Co-Investment Fund application process can be very time consuming and requires significant resources to move through the different application phases. Housing NWT’s Community Relations Advisor works closely with Indigenous governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and other partners to support applicants from across the NWT as they move through this complex process. This supports Housing NWT’s mandate to ensure the wellbeing of individuals and communities and assist those most in need.
Mr. Speaker, beyond the benefits of adding housing options in communities where new units are built, the economic benefits of the construction delivery can provide meaningful employment opportunities. Housing NWT is committed to working with Northern contractors as much as possible in order to maximize the benefits of these projects.
I am very proud of Housing NWT’s track record in being able to support our local and northern businesses. 99% of Housing NWT’s contracts were awarded to local and northern businesses during this past year’s capital delivery and similar levels of support are expected again this year.
Mr. Speaker, Housing NWT’s capital plan delivery continues to support critical training and skill development opportunities for our residents. In April 2020, Housing NWT amended its construction contracts to require general contractors to support at least one northern apprentice for the duration of the construction project.
I am very pleased to advise that, in addition to the 12 apprentice positions that Housing NWT is supporting with Local Housing Organizations, this new apprentice hire requirement for general contractors has supported the creation of 35 new apprentice work assignments to date.
Mr. Speaker, this coming year will see the completion of a partnership to build market housing for the RCMP. During the Renewal conversations, Housing NWT heard that a number of partners are interested in exploring market housing delivery. As a result of those conversations, Housing NWT will soon be engaging with partners across the territory to further explore the need for market housing in their communities.
Although the delivery of the new housing units and repair projects will make a meaningful difference there is still a lot of work left to be done to ensure all residents of the Northwest Territories are provided with quality, affordable housing options. By continuing to work with our partners, I am confident that we will continue to make progress towards our shared goals and be able to help those most in need.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.