Hay River in ‘dire need’ of public housing, but GNWT has no plans

Town of Hay River welcome sign. (Photo by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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Hay River is in “dire need” of more public housing units, according to Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson.

There are 71 residents currently on the waitlist for public housing in the community.

Some of those people have been waiting for three years, according to Simpson.

But Housing Minister Paulie Chinna said there aren’t any public housing projects planned for Hay River.

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“The Housing Corporation is in the process of constructing market housing units,” said Chinna in the Legislative Assembly. 

“That is an RCMP initiative,” she added. “Presently we don’t have any future public housing units to be allocated for the community of Hay River, but in result, we are working with the homelessness strategy in the community and looking at finding long-term solutions.

Simpson pointed to a high-rise in Hay River which has 122 apartments available, as an opportunity to provide more housing.

While there are no plans for building more public housing units in the community, Chinna said she would consider some creative options.

Simpson suggested hiring private contractors to construct buildings and then leasing those buildings to the territorial government, in order to provide public housing.

Chinna said the GNWT has several such buildings in Yellowknife already.

“I would like to look at unique opportunities throughout the Northwest Territories,” said Chinna. “If we have an opportunity with the private sector, I would like to take a look at that.”

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