Housing corporation offers ‘bold new approach’ to spur construction

Financial incentives aimed at getting more affordable units built; Kusugak says it responds to needs of Nunavummiut

A HAP house is shown while under construction in 1988, in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. The Nunavut Housing Corp. now offers a new version of this program, where the government provides assistance for people to build their own houses. (Photo courtesy of David Hulchanski)

By Nunatsiaq News

A plan to spur homebuilding across the territory through financial incentives has been unveiled by Nunavut Housing Corp.

The housing corporation revealed details of its new Nunavut Affordable Housing Supply Incentive, or NAHSI, “flagship” affordable housing program, in a news release Monday.

As an incentive to get more units built for rent or sale, 10-year forgivable loans of $150,000 for each eligible unit will be made available.

That includes single-family homes, multiplexes, condominiums, modular homes and co-operatives. Inuit organizations, private developers and builders, municipalities and non-profit groups are eligible to apply.

Lorne Kusugak, minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corp., called NAHSI a “bold new approach to bridge the affordable housing gap” in the news release.

“NAHSI provides builders and developers with financial support to accelerate the supply of affordable rental and homeownership units,” he said.

“The modernized suite of homeownership programs responds to what we heard from Nunavummiut.”

Applications for NAHSI are being accepted now, the corporation said, while applications for related support programs will open “in the coming months.”

The corporation defined affordable housing as units for rent or purchase available for at least 20 per cent below market rates.

It said for existing properties, enhanced repair programs will broaden the eligibility for assistance and offer higher levels of funding. Also, more help for down payments will be available.

In its release, the corporation said NAHSI will complement its existing home ownership support programs, including what it refers to as HAP 2.0 — a revival of a program it ran between 30 and 40 years ago.

The housing corporation has rolled out an updated version of the original HAP — or Homeownership Assistance Program — which was offered in Northwest Territories from 1983 through 1992.

HAP allowed residents to select a home design from a catalogue and provided the materials free for eligible residents to build the home themselves.

It was popular among Inuit, construction industry workers and researchers who called it an affordable way to provide new housing.

According to the housing corporation’s website, HAP 2.0 offers $250,000 forgivable loans over 10 years toward the purchase of a materials package, with a one-year residency requirement.

Applications open for these programs in summer, according to the housing corporation website.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    I’m that close to retirement, wished this was done 25 years ago 🙁

  2. Posted by Ned Flanders on

    Collect your rent yet?

  3. Posted by Nelson Muntz on

    Chances are applications from “None of it” can’t pass the entrance exam.
    Too many syllables in English

  4. Posted by Tired on

    Real Estate in Nunavut is totally detached from reality. I’ve been watching house prices in the South steadily trend down for almost two years but there is a VERY mid house for sale in Tundra ridge for $900,000.


  5. Posted by Hunter on

    Just another program developers are going to to scam.

    We have one, two maybe three electrical inspectors across the Nunavut Territory and every building must wait for electrical inspectors to move on to the next stage.

    How many building inspectors do we have at CGS?

    This is why building in Nunavut costs so much and takes so long everyone is waiting for an inspection to move on to the next stage.

    This needs to be investigated how much these inspections are actually costing the territory.

  6. Posted by Rankinmiut on

    This program is going to be a huge blessing for Nunavummiut minus Rankin Inlet. In Rankin, the municipal government declared that the utilidor system is past capacity so new builds will have to have sewage pump out as well as water delivery, probably

    Will this be address by our municipal and territorial government for hopefuls like me that want to jump in on this?

    Also, NHC will need more employees to cater to the influx of paperwork they will more than likely have, as well as the hamlets with the new land lease documents needed, have they thought of that?

    • Posted by My Milkshake Brings the Sewage Truck to the Yard on

      Do you… do you know how many of Nunavut’s 25 communities have trucked water and sewage services? I bet it would surprise you.

    • Posted by choo choo on

      The utilidor in YRT is 100% owned and operated by the GN. It has ZERO to do with the Hamlet.

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    The Housing Corp. can’t manage the condo program here in Iqaluit with anything remotely approaching competency. It stretches the imagination to think that they will do any better with a Territorial housing program.

  8. Posted by Two Problems on

    For this to really work, two problems need to be overcome.

    1. Make building lots available. A package of material is only of use if you have a place where you are allowed to build a house. Otherwise, all you can do is make a very costly bonfire.

    2. Get rid of the laws, bylaws, regulations and other restrictions that prevent someone from building their own house. Provide training and education, but let people make mistakes, too. No mistakes mean that no one is learning. Perhaps put a single level limit for those without Red Seal papers. But let people build. That is how HAP 1 houses were built.

  9. Posted by Ben Decko on

    How about buy and build your own.

  10. Posted by Bleem on

    Just get back on the welfare list and line. Sign over Nunavut to people that know how. (Sigh)🤘😥

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