18 affordable housing units to be built in Iqaluit by 2023

Project’s $10.7M cost covered by CMHC

The City of Iqaluit will contract NCC Investment Group to build up to 18 housing units with money from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. in Joamie Court. (Image courtesy of the City of Iqaluit)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit city councillors approved a plan Tuesday evening to build up to 18 housing units with a budget of more than $10.73 million.

The entire cost of the project is being paid by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Nearly half comes from CMHC’s rapid housing initiative fund, while the remaining money is from the CMHC’s co-investment program.

To access the rapid housing initiative funds, a project must be completed by June 30, 2023, said city chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The city will be the owner until the project is completed. Then the Nunavut Housing Corp. will buy it from the city and take over the lease, Elgersma said. NCC Investment Group will design and construct the units, which will span three lots.

The city plans to have 18 housing units built behind Joamie Ilinniarvik School. Councillors from the previous city council planned for these lots to be used for a housing strategy similar to the one approved Tuesday night, said Coun. Kyle Sheppard. (Diagram courtesy of the City of Iqaluit)

Fifty per cent of the units will be allocated for Inuit and women with children.

Elgersma said this project will serve as a model for future housing development projects.

The building is planned for Joamie Court, located behind Joamie Ilinniarvik School.

Coun. Kyle Sheppard said that area had been planned by previous councillors for a project “exactly like this.”

“I’m extremely excited to see the work done by last council to create these lots — it’s going to be beneficial right now,” he said.

Coun. John Fawcett, who will be resigning from council at the end of the year, said he was proud to get to vote for the project, and commended the city for developing this plan while working through the water emergency.

“That is an incredible thing,” he said.

Mayor Kenny Bell shared the same sentiments.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that’s been done here at the city. We’re not perfect, none of us are,” he said. “But there’s a tremendous amount of work being done.

Share This Story

(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by Good job CMHC on

    $11M for 18 units that’s over $600k per unit. Sadly these units will likely be neglected by the occupants who will likely be paying $70/mo. At $70/mo it would take 726 years to pay off the cost of that unit. Public housing in nunavut is a cruel joke, and the housing crisis will never be fixed until the real crisis is resolved: teenage pregnancies.

    • Posted by Nunavutmiuta on

      No kidding right, I can say thanks to the dominate society who colonize and then traumatize us Inuit to the point of self destruction, then tell us to live there way of life with no regards to our own way of life or our beliefs, then criticize/judge us Inuit. Good move

  2. Posted by Oh My on

    While there are conditions and opportunities wherein there is justification for Non-Competitive Contract award process (commonly known as soul source award) this 10+ million award would not appear to meet the criteria. The short version is: timing (work is of an emergency nature), availability (only one supplier is capable of delivering the service) and there is an upset limit when expending funds which is certainly not anywhere near the 10+ million amount. So why then would a federal agency (CMHC), a municipality (Iqaluit) and a Crown Corporation (Nunavut Housing Corporation) which falls under the oversight of the Government of Nunavut not have pause to consider this public money should be spent without pursuing the usual public tender format. And even more peculiar is the back slapping congratulatory praising of basically a job well done and believing this should “serve as a model for future housing development projects.” Granted, it could save a considerable amount of staff time by eliminating that pesky formal tender process; advertising, bid analysis and tender award. All you really need is someone to write a check and say job well done, look what we have accomplished. Well the last time I checked all of the aforementioned public agencies are tax payer funded and therefore tax payer accountable. Now seriously, do you really think this is a wise approach. As a retired government worker, with way too many years in acquisitions, I would have a lot of trouble sleeping and would certainly get an unlisted home phone and never answer my office phone.

    • Posted by Union of Armchair Experts on

      In every way the tendering process is nothing but a race to the bottom.

    • Posted by Does it really matter anyways on

      Does the bid/tender process even matter anyways? NNI & NTI is a farce. This is why the thought of them.sekf governing us is an absolute disgrace. Their judging criteria of what is considered a real Inuk owned and operated business and not a fake one with a paid or worst yet unpaid Inuit name being used as an illegitimate business owner is sad. Individuals obtain the Inuit owned business status with partners then then get rid of their Inuit partners and still maintain their statuses. Then there are the business owners who’s businesses are in their wives names who they don’t even live with and haven’t for year’s. They also open businesses in their kids names where their kids don’t have a thing to do with the businesses and no interest in them. NTI needs to do a better job governing right and wrong and if they can’t even keep track of what businesses are actually legitimately Inuk than the bid process is rigged right from the get go.

      • Posted by Transparency on

        For a Mayor and council that claim to be transparent they sure do not act like it. Bid and Tender is not just about getting a fair price for work, its about ensuring that everyone gets an opportunity and that how work gets awarded is transparent. I can’t wait till the City can be ATIP by the “Cesspool” journalist that Mayor Bell loves so much. Maybe they could ATIP Housing or CMHC to see how this all went down, but it is unfortunate that council continue to act in secrecy all while causing inflated prices for building in the community.

    • Posted by Oh me, oh my! on

      Oh my – it’s a sole source, not a “soul source”, but someone with “way too many years in acquisitions” should know this. You’re not sourcing a soul, but solely sourcing (ie: one source) an item.

      Anyone with an ounce of energy could research the criteria for this project on the CMHC website. It appears the City may have had a very short timeline to create a proposal with tangible solutions and partners for CMHC. I agree that the process may seem flawed, but bring that gripe up with CMHC as they are the ones with the stringent rules, and unrealisitc timelines, for their funding.

      Instead of complaining about something you a) clearly know nothing about, or b) because you feel like you can, take the time to research a bit and see what kind of benefit this will provide 18 groups of people. At the end of the day, its the action that should matter.

    • Posted by Inuk guy on

      Do municipalities need to comply with NNI? How about cities?

  3. Posted by More Like on

    It is more like watch out for the funny business deals that could happen. Why good intentions go wrong.

  4. Posted by Hey Ho Let’s Go on

    As mentioned by “Oh My” above, I was pretty shocked at all the self-praise going on by Council here. Sure, it’s good to get some affordable housing, especially when it’s 100% covered by the feds. But this is 18 units in a town that needs… a whole lot more.
    And as mentioned by “Good Job CMHC”, it comes at a cost of $600,000 per unit. Keep in mind that these 18 units will be spread over only 3 lots (looks like 2 single lots and one meant for higher-density), meaning these units will definitely not be freestanding units but will likely take the shape of condo-style construction.
    If it takes $600k to build a unit like that, Council should not be touting this as “a model for future housing development projects”, they should be saying something more like, “hey this is a positive step to get some new units, but we need to continue to look at innovate options, to be more efficient, get more done with less”, etc.

    • Posted by David on

      I completely agree.

      It definitely seems no attempt at innovation is occurring and it has simply been accepted that $600 k is the going rate. The Federal government is quite correct to not want to play this game.

  5. Posted by BLAH on

    Are any of these keyboard warriors ever happy? what a bunch

    the 3 deadly C’s

    and the one 1 L

  6. Posted by NHC is going to buy the building?? on

    Sooo, the City gets a bunch of money to pay for the development of the bulding. And then NHC buys the building?? for how much? Is the City going to pocket the money from NHC?
    What a joke.
    Mayor and council should try some good ol fashioned transparency before patting themselves on the back so hard.

  7. Posted by Just Guessing on

    Few comments here to previous posts and having worked in Government for quite sometime and knowledge of CMHC programs and funding this is how I see this worked out;

    The City had to apply for the funds as NHC could not – once the building is completed it is passed over to NHC free of charge to own/maintain, or on some sort of $1 per year lease for 20 years or sell for $1. I would highly doubt that the City will try and profit off this as the optics would be horrible.

    As with most CMHC funding programs there is very little time to pull a proposal together and would think this is the reason it was sole sourced as a Contractor had to be part of the funding program and it went to a 100% Inuit Owned Organization – as it really should have.

    I assume the City has applied for the maximum amount of funds they possibly could but this does not mean that each unit will cost $600k – it could turn out to be $400k per unit with the remainder not being drawn on. And I would venture to guess with required setbacks on lots and such and height restrictions 18 is the max they could fit on the lots. And maybe if the cost per unit it is lower it turns out to be a 24 plex somehow fitting on the lots. Who knows, there is just not enough info here in the article.

    It is sad some of the comments here as it should have been brought up that 50% of the units will be for Inuit women with Children and with a school being so close it will make it that much easier on them to get their kids to and from school.

    Even if this has been tendered people would still be upset and make wrong comments and say $600k for a unit. Sometimes there is just no satisfying people – when we should all look at it as 18 family’s may have somewhere warm to sleep next year and that is a start on the 3500 units needed in the territory as mentioned by our new Premier last week.

    Just some of my thoughts on this and maybe in no way correct.


Comments are closed.