Residents still need housing post-Mackenzie Place fire: GNWT

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The GNWT says there is still a need for interim housing for some of the 150 people evacuated after the Mackenzie Place highrise fire nearly a month ago.

The government says since the fire March 15th, some residents have been able to find their own medium or long-term housing. Others have asked for help finding housing. A media request to the NWT Housing Corporation asking about the number of tenants who still need housing has not been answered as of press time.

The housing corporation is working on filling this need, the GNWT states, by securing ‘several housing units’ which will be allocated to families. The corporation is also in the process of helping to speed up repairs to housing on the Hay River Reserve.

The GNWT is also asking anyone with rooms or units for rent to contact the housing corporation, if they want to be added to a list the government is sharing with former highrise tenants.

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Financial help available

“Tenants experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to meet with representatives from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment,” the GNWT states. “ECE is also available to assist with security deposits for those applicants who both qualify for Income Assistance benefits in March and/or April and have found their own housing.” There are other programs, including homelessness funding and rent supplement, available.

Tenants will be let back into the highrise

Tenants have been let into the fire-damaged highrise once, for about 15 minutes each, to gather essential items. There is now a plan in place to let them go in a second time. The GNWT states tenants should contact owner of the highrise Harry Satdeo or his local representative, to access their units.

Satdeo has stated through an add in the Hay River Hub that he intends to make repairs and re-open the building. The GNWT states they do not know when this might happen.

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