Nunavik evictions taking place earlier than last year

With 16 tenants out in May, another round will be released in September, allowing time before the winter months

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau is giving eviction notices earlier this year than last, allowing tenants more time to find alternative housing before the cold sets in. (Photo by Jane George)

By Elaine Anselmi

So far this year, 16 tenants in Nunavik have been evicted by the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau and another round of evictions is set for September.

Eviction judgments are doled out after several notices of failure to pay rent and after the option of entering into a payment agreement with Quebec’s rental board, the Régie du logement, is not taken.

Last year, the board launched its Pay Your Rent campaign to address the number of tenants in arrears with the organization.

Through the campaign, board staff make house calls to tenants to figure out why they are behind on rent, and offer advice and alternatives to eviction. The program was developed after the board held off on evictions in 2017, to develop a plan to deal with the millions of dollars it was owed in unpaid rent.

Through Pay Your Rent, staff ensure that a tenant’s rent is properly set to their income and work with them on rental payment options to get them back on track.

According to the rental board, the campaign has been a success and saw the percentage of the organization’s bad debts drop from 17 per cent in 2017 to 11 per cent as of last month. Last year, about 68 final eviction notices went out in total, which was whittled down from a list of about 400 in arrears.

Quebec’s minister of housing, Andrée Laforest, visited Inukjuak, Salluit and Puvirnituq in late July and early August to meet with the rental board and discuss the challenges in housing across Nunavik. She praised the organization’s efforts to deal with rental arrears in a humane and innovative way.

Last year, even after the final eviction notices went out in mid-October, tenants still had the opportunity to pay back 10 per cent of their debt, which ranged from $1,300 to more than $55,000, in order to be taken off that list.

And notices are going out a bit earlier this year with the first wave released in May and the second in September, which, the housing board noted, are more forgiving periods in Nunavik. By late October, the temperature is hovering around zero.

Any houses that are vacated due to evictions are allocated to another family or person on the housing board’s waiting list of hundreds looking for a home.

The photo that originally ran with this story illustrated the minister’s visit, which included site tours of new facilities, and the minister’s positive response to the housing bureau’s efforts to keep people in their homes.

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(21) Comments:

  1. Posted by Jamie Morgan on

    Living with 3 kids and mother with own house no kids at all and ik she isn’t paying rent well and I’m living at my mothers at m19 no room and tired of sleeping on the floor

  2. Posted by Can’t afford rent on

    It’s tough choice all the time rent or food! Niangarlii unemployed people get rent reduction and is hard working people get taxed 49% and reduce child allowance and we don’t get 7% increase in salary!!!

    Unfair system! They are really working hard to squeeze every little penny out of us! They are promoting us to be job less

  3. Posted by Co-op beer and wine sales on

    We’ll soon see the furniture outside of house, on side of the road , all stacked up. We have a nice bigger Co-op store under construction in kuujjuaq, beer and wine sales are booming from the payments that are in arrears from rent. It’s too bad the Co-op don’t charged extra to rent arrears people, just to help the situation out.

  4. Posted by Not taken seriously on

    Until Nunavik get it’s act together to deal with social distress like alcohol and sexual abuse, nothing will be taken seriously in regards to housing or any other expense issues. The whole of canada, Quebec and the world is continuously witnessing the neglect of children, and a decline in Inuit life. No one is buying the argument that all of this neglect comes from inadequate housing, rather most believe inadequate housing comes from lack of motivation from within the population. Just look at the home ownership program, the best on the continent, and hardly anyone taking advantage. Look around the communities and see large steel boats, large big engine trucks, snowmobile and everyone with 4 or 5 cabins. Look at the junk in the dumps, and take a look at the outside of peoples house for 10 old snowmobile, 5 or 6 old cars, 50 gas cans, enough lumber and wood to build 20 house. Then talk about no money for rent. This is so contradictory.

  5. Posted by Inuk on

    Eviction is very important and why they cannot fix problems of the house and rent is very expensive? We pay rent and they never fix problems…

  6. Posted by Katsuak iyaituk on

    Many people don’t pay their rent I’m happy something is finally happened. In my town 80% of them drink alcohol and deciding not to pay rent they buy a 150$ 10oz of alcohol. My family are very high drinkers but I’m not I live at my boyfriends parents house and they are also very into alcohol. I have a job I just need 1 bedroom. I hope I get a house soon!!

  7. Posted by People suffer from alcohol abuse on

    The whole community suffers from the alcohol abuse, you know most people don’t get a chance to express. We have a big co-op store being built on one end of the community, and a big treatment center being built on the other end of the community. In a bigger center this type of infrastructure would go unnoticed, but in a small community like kuujjuaq this is sadness. Does anyone in the council office, or kRG! Makivik, health board , see the growth of our reality? All this development is happening at the same time. News of the local bar in kuujjuaq being converted to apartments is also in the news. Imagine for a moment the lost of life from the opening of the bar from day one? Hundreds of Inuit have succumbed to the ill of alcohol. The landholdings made money, from down payment of the dead. It’s going to get worse, just tune in to the alcohol sales.

  8. Posted by It equals out the door on

    The bar in kuujjuaq. Yup, over the years the citizens have paid dearly for the profits made. It’s no wonder , kick out of the house today. It takes years and years for the results of the abuse to show its colours. So here we are. Crippled from the abuse. But the development goes on for the landholdings. Yes, I agree the down payment was from the death of the locals and region. People should start suing for that dowpayment to be repayed. The common Inuk has paid so much for the benefit we see today. The common inuk is owed so much. The money in the bank today from the landholdings belongs to the common inuit. In the light of suing for residential schools, this and that, the people of kuujjuaq, and other affected areas, need to sue the landholdings..

  9. Posted by Single mother on

    It saddens me to see single men and women with grown up children, or without any children at all and have a collage degree get thousands of dollars of rent arrears. Aren’t they supposed to travel the world with their hard earned money and enjoy life? Instead, they are asked to pay $800 plus a month to their rent. When others, couples with a plenty of children get to pay only like $100- $200 a month. It is like as if the singles are asked to pay more than the couples 50% of their rent. This is insane!

    • Posted by Pay as you go on

      800.00 dollars plus is not a lot for rent. Living in the cities you pay more than that. Considering how much it is to ship housing in the north, people should be thankful that it can be done. The cost of getting a house from a southern port to the north. It’s no ones fault that some people live in areas of Canada that can’t support its self without help from the government. But you must pay something at least, and what you pay is nothing for what you get. Be thankful for your house in a place where you have no material to build one. Be thankful it comes to you, where you are.

    • Posted by Wishful Thinking on

      I’m a single person with an education and I pay more than double the $800/month rent you mentioned to live in my government subsidized housing unit which is falling apart at the seams.

      • Posted by Too bad on

        Some places are more expensive than other places to live, housing, cost of living reality. The north has so much dependency on the south for every aspect of living. The cost of fossil fuels to ship plays a major part. The world economy. Not much can really be done. But many provinces of Canada depend on the federal government for equalization payments, I love to see more sharing of the wealth going to the real needs in the north. But let’s stop that waste of dollars for all these useless programs, healing this and that. Let’s put our money where it’s needed. Let’s stop the waste like the Canadian rangers on treks to the north, a big waste of tax dollars on these rations, boxes and boxes all over the place. Let’s cut out the fatty waste. So much can be saved when we get to the aste of our money.

  10. Posted by Sad on

    Nunavut at least the homeowners mill payers post tax arrears.
    I wonder if that is an effective way to induce payments?
    Can social housing do the same?

  11. Posted by Renter on

    I should become jobless and go on Welfare so my rent could go down to $100 from $700, 2bedroom cheap duplex. Or make many kids to get eligible for the rebate.

    • Posted by Low rent on

      Renter, if you become jobless, your rent may go down, but your whole life will go down too. It’s better to have a job, for the dignity. Gainful employment and paying your share of the rent. Many places in Canada have high rent. Many places in Canada are less advantaged also. The north has too much waste. No appreciation for anything. All take, no give. Have you been in your local dump recently, to see the footprint of your waste?

  12. Posted by rent payer on

    I’m employed, I pay my rent with close to half of my pay every month which is good for them. I mean my house is not on it’s best, like dripping since it was renovated like most renovated units. water pump always need repairing windows and floor are cold in winter even though the furnace heater is on it’s highest. In the future I’m afraid housing will receive all my pay as the rent is getting higher each year. That means I’m working for housing as if I don’t need to pay for food and clothing…ect ect.

    • Posted by Homeowners on

      Home ownership is one way to get out of the rut. Take advantage of that great program. People that own their homes , also fix their homes when repairs are needed. This dependencies on the government is what got people in this mess. Start being independent of the government. And don’t blame the government or anyone else as where you are living , it’s not anyone’s fault, aka, no wood to build. It’s difficult to supply an area with deficits of building materials, but do your part. At least have the motivation to tap into the housing program.

  13. Posted by pete on

    Interesting story, comments, ect. We do need more housing although we are spending 125 million dollars on high speed internet access from chisasabi to four communities on the Hudson coast. Where are our priorities, we need more housing, high speed internet can wait. Just saying.

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