Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik March 29, 2018 - 9:59 am

Quebec budget attempts to breathe new life into Nunavik homeownership

Budget allocates $44 million for social and private housing, regional treatment centre

Quebec has allocated over $20 million to the development of a private housing market in Nunavik, where currently just three per cent of the population owns their own home. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
Quebec has allocated over $20 million to the development of a private housing market in Nunavik, where currently just three per cent of the population owns their own home. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

The Quebec government’s 2018-2019 budget has set aside money to support the region’s social and private housing markets, along with funding to build the region’s new addictions treatment centre.

The Quebec budget, released on Tuesday, March 27 in Quebec City, allocated $44 million to “housing assistance” in the region.

About half of that—$22.1 million—will go to replace aging Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau warehouses, which are used to store equipment to renovate social housing units.

Many of those warehouses have been around for almost 40 years. The new funding will allow the KMHB to build three new warehouses, although it doesn’t specify in which communities.

With the remainder of that $44 million, Quebec said it hopes to foster the development of a private housing market—virtually non-existent in a region where just three per cent of the population owns their own home.

The KMBH already runs a home ownership and renovation program, which offers up to 75 per cent of the cost of constructing a home.

The budget is investing $15.9 million into the program over the next five years to help Nunavimmiut with the purchase and construction of 45 private housing units.

But Nunavik’s home ownership program hasn’t taken off like the government planned, in large part because those same subsidies aren’t available to buyers who wish to purchase an existing home.

So Quebec’s 2018 budget also establishes a $5 million buy-back fund, to be managed by the KMHB’s parent agency, the Société d’habitation du Québec. The fund is intended to help first-time home buyers obtain loans through financial institutions.

The SHQ will also oversee a new $1 million pilot project in 2018-2019 to help Nunavik tenants to buy the home they are renting.

Quebec’s 2018-2019 budget also handed out $10 million to the construction of the new Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre.

The Kuujjuaq-based addictions centre currently offers a six-week treatment cycle for up to nine clients.

But Isuarsivik’s board of directors plan to replace the 70-year-old building with a new, expanded facility that will accommodate 20 clients at the time, as well as their family members.

The new $32-million Isuarsivik centre hopes to employ 42 staff members, including an on-site psychologist, nurse and family therapists, once it opens in 2020.

The government’s support includes $8.5 million for the centre itself and 12 adjacent housing units to help attract and retain specialized employees.

Another $1.5 million from the Fonds du Plan Nord is earmarked to coordinate the fund pre-construction studies.

“We hope this announcement will enable [us] to speed up the process within the federal government,” Isuarsivik said in a March 29 release.

“We are eager to hear back from Indigenous Services Department on how our project can benefit from the $200 million announced in the federal budget to prevent and treat addictions within indigenous communities.”

Other Nunavik-focused budget highlights:

• $13 million to extend the region’s cost-of-living subsidies for one year, while the region continues to negotiate a longer-term funding agreement with the province

• $3 million over four years to clean up storage sites and safely dispose of hazardous waste in Nunavik

• $95.8 million to fight domestic and sexual violence across the province, $14.4 million of which will be focused in Indigenous communities.

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(13) Comments:

#1. Posted by FRANÇOIS BEAUCHEMIN on March 29, 2018

Back in 2007, at the Katimajiit conference, it was stated that already 1000 dwellings were needed to cover the needs of all Nunavik. Since then, the basic increase hasn’t even been covered by the government. This $44-Million is a JOKE!!! Just in time for the elections to make people think the PLQ is doing something for Nunavik! The need is 20 times that!!! Get real! :(

#2. Posted by Not fooled on March 29, 2018

Fake news Quebec style..
22 million dollars for warehouses is not housing assistance unless they think somebody will live there. There must be a limit on how much BS people should be expected to swollow from the KMHB self servers.

#3. Posted by "Housing assistance" -Dr. Evil raises pinky to mou on March 30, 2018

Who are the real beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement!? It’s hard to believe it is the Inuit of the region themselves. Québec will built 12 housing adjacent to the center (we can all assume that they will be fully furnised)... here’s one idea, build those houses, furnised them, let the Inuit move in and have the buy back project offered to them. Let the speacialist, move in to the social housing of the tenants that moved in and wait… In no time, the KMHB and SHQ would be shattered into bits by these speacialists thus, overhauling these “programs”, 1000 more housing built within two to five years..

#4. Posted by Puzzled on March 31, 2018

Why does everyone in the north feel they have a right to a house, built by the government?

Nowhere else in the country would this be considered the normal course of things.

#5. Posted by Untangle your mind.. Breathe.. on April 01, 2018

It is only normal that the Inuit be given time to adapt to the fast changing world around them. We all know the devestating effects of the first attemps of “educating” them has had. Give them time to learn, to experience new things, to make mistakes, to heal, to love, to trust, to forgive, to accept, to live.. And to puzzled #4, give them time to learn of prime rates, morgages and loans.. laws of physics, relativity, mathamatics, religions, sciences.. Give them time… We tend to forget not long ago they were living a nomadic life living in tents and igloos..

#6. Posted by Even more puzzled on April 02, 2018


Interesting, so what you are saying is “don’t expect much, they aren’t like us.. give them enough time and maybe they will be”?

This is a very weird, patronizing, and condescending remark on your part.

#7. Posted by Clear your mind futher.. on April 02, 2018

Isn’t it exsactly that you’re asking for # 4 and 6?! To be more like you, a self rigthous home owner.. one who doesn’t rely on the government for any assistance..

#8. Posted by RE: Posted by Puzzled on April 02, 2018

Hey “Posted by Puzzled”, you are obviously very puzzled. Try doing a bit of research.

#9. Posted by Still puzzled on April 02, 2018

#8 I agree with you. I am very puzzled about this. Comments by #5 & 6 have only made the problem worse. Where would you recommend I begin my research, any tips?

#10. Posted by Heres some research material... on April 03, 2018

Start with the residential schools, then with the relocation of Inukjuaq families to resolut, the dog slaugthers and the governments “succesful” attemps to localise Inuit.. Then check the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and why it all started.. If you are still puzzled, try to figure out why the Kativik School Board renamed itself Kativik Illisanilirik.. Wish you all the best and hope things get clearer for you…

#11. Posted by Elder's bouncer on April 03, 2018

Wondering if project for Elders’ home is going to get any funding from this but they probably brushed it off the table for potential beneficiaries already. But hoping that is not the case. Our elders are in dire need for a community based care centre and just have faint hope although will and have kept…

#12. Posted by Still puzzled on April 03, 2018

#10 - Let me see if I understand where you are coming from.

1. Residential Schools
2. Dog Slaughter


Northern Inuit should be provided housing ad infinitum?

Forgive me, but I admit I am still missing the connection.

#13. Posted by My igloo on April 04, 2018

Too bad, the igloo couldn’t survive the progression. It’s really that bad when shelter building for thousands of years, finally no good when compared to the other culture. And here we are putting down the other culture.

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