Good news for potential homeowners
Iqaluit Centre MLA Hunter Tootoo overcame his misgivings about changes to the GN’s rent-to-own public housing program after questioning Kelvin Ng, the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, in the assembly last week.
The program allows tenants in public housing units to buy their rental units over time. Payment was previously calculated on 30 per cent of gross household income, and Tootoo has long advocated that it be calculated on net — or after-tax — income.
However, on Sept. 1, NHC lowered the amount to 20 per cent. Tootoo asked Ng if that amount was based on gross or net income.
Ng clarified that it is indeed based on gross income, but that the amount is reduced by the cost of operating a house. That is, NHC considers the amount paid in utility bills as part of the payment toward owning a house.
“I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people lining up to take part in the access of the public housing program,” Tootoo said. “So it’s going to be beneficial for them to move into one of those types of units and purchase it rather than trying to purchase one on the open market.”