Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut June 01, 2018 - 10:36 am

Mould remediation off to a solid start in six Nunavut communities

“It’s a growing problem,” housing minister says of mould infestation

The Nunavut Housing Corp. has cleaned up mould from units in six communities and will issue tenders for remediation projects in five more communities this spring, says Lorne Kusugak, the minister responsible for the housing corporation. (FILE PHOTO)
The Nunavut Housing Corp. has cleaned up mould from units in six communities and will issue tenders for remediation projects in five more communities this spring, says Lorne Kusugak, the minister responsible for the housing corporation. (FILE PHOTO)

Of 35 public housing units flagged last year for “urgent intervention” over mould infestations, 32 of those units are now professionally cleaned up, the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corp., Lorne Kusugak, told members of the legislative assembly on May 29.

Baker Lake, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Igloolik, Sanikiluaq and Kugaaruk are the six communities that have now benefited from that work, Kusugak said in his update on the corporation’s remediation project.

The final three earmarked units will be remediated by September.

And, this spring, the GN will issue tenders for the remediation of 31 more housing units in Hall Beach, Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Kimmirut and Arviat.

“It’s evident that in the coming months, the number of units that require mould remediation will increase,” Kusugak said.

He called the remediation project a “significant logistical and financial undertaking” and said actions by his department are done within constraints.

During the winter sitting in March, Kusugak said the NHC was training local housing staff in mould remediation, but in the meantime, he suggested that residents do their best to reduce the spread and use soap and water to clean up the problem.

That’s after Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk said his constituents believe they are getting sick from mould in their homes.

In February, a concerned grandmother posted photos on Facebook of the home her son and his young family were living in. The photos showed black mould covering a doorframe and growing in large patches on the ceiling.

Now, 196 local housing employees in all of Nunavut’s 25 communities are trained in mould remediation, Kusugak said.

Contractors are also helping Nunavut’s housing corporation create design changes that will improve ventilation and air quality in homes built by the NHC from now on.

Kusugak is still encouraging residents to take part in daily mould prevention.

“If caught early, minor mould can be cleaned with unscented detergent and water. Maintaining good ventilation in homes is also important,” he said on May 29. “It is important to use bathroom fans and kitchen range hoods consistently and keep ventilation units on.”

Last week, on the first day of the sitting, on May 24, Kaernerk quoted a recent report by Canada’s auditor general, which states that problems with heat recovery ventilators in northern housing units are leading in part to mould growth.

Kusugak said then he is glad to see mould problems come up in public debate.

“It is a growing problem,” he said.

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(6) Comments:

#1. Posted by Copperinuk on June 02, 2018

Back in the day when there were vents on housing units like there is in cabins there was no mould issues, we suggested this to housing corporation as a possible solution to this problem but NO they want and need fully sealed and airtight units which we all know causes mold when those HRV units are down. Suggesting solutions is not helping so what will NHC?

#2. Posted by RD on June 03, 2018

The story of social illness is accurate - slums, addiction, violence and suicide - but the promoted causes and solutions aren’t. To see Nunavut, we must view the corrupt society entrenched in each community and the legislature.
Through the past forty years, Inuit with influence, jobs and education have abused their positions of trust. Their oppressed resist by violence to themselves, each other and their children, through alcohol and drugs, emotional dependency, compliance, suicide and vandalism. The oppressors call for more funding (to distribute among themselves to widen the gap with the weak) and for return to ancient culture (to enshrine myths akin to the emperor’s new clothes)
Just four generations has created a society sustained by tyranny, poverty, addiction, unemployability and despair and beset with sickening levels of wastage and sloth. It’s organized crime at its worst and is protected by a cloak of sensitivity and unwarranted guilt by its patrons.

#3. Posted by Observation deck on June 04, 2018

#2 Take your meds, have a nap, and think about this again. Your comment comes off as the ramblings of a paranoid mind that just discovered some new words it doesn’t fully understand.

#4. Posted by Renting a Public Unit on June 04, 2018

To be honest, NHC dose not care. They look at our income, but they don’t look at the condition of the unit we are renting.

#5. Posted by TJ on June 04, 2018

#3 Was something said that you dispute?

#6. Posted by hiop kunnuk on June 04, 2018

The mold is in the HRV vents too - it stinks and some people get MS type symptoms from mould. If we know there is mold who gonna fix it tenant can’t get to it cause its in the wall. I like the idea of the old day s with vents proper ventilation.

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