Nunavik negotiates a new social-housing rent scale for 2021

Rent won’t increase by more than 4 per cent over next four years

Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau director general Marie-France Brisson speaks during KRG council meetings Feb. 25. (Photo by Jukipa Saunders)

By Sarah Rogers

The Kativik Regional Government says the Government of Quebec has signed off on a new plan to help lower rent for social housing tenants in Nunavik.

Between 2021 and 2025, the ceiling for annual rent increases will be set at four per cent, down from the six per cent maximum in place since 2016.

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau has also negotiated new adjustments to its rent scale over the next four years. The rent scale is a formula that determines what a tenant pays to live in their home based on their gross income, rather than a fixed monthly rate.

The new scale factors in the number of dependants living in a unit, explained Fred Gagné, the Kativik Regional Government’s assistant director, who also sits on a Nunavik-Quebec housing committee.

A Nunavik family of five — two adults and three children — with income of $90,000 would have paid $832 in monthly rent. Under the new rent scale, the same family would pay $811 a month.

“Everyone gets something,” Gagné told regional council during meetings in Kuujjuaq last Thursday.

In this new agreement, Nunavik elders saw their eligibility for minimum rent adjusted from a base income of $31,000 to $40,000. Under the new rent scale, for example, an elder with an annual income of $50,000, living with two children, would pay just $100 in monthly rent.

Nunavik leaders have spent years negotiating lower rents for social housing to reflect the high cost of living in the region.

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau manages social housing for roughly 97 per cent of the region’s population, overseeing 3,684 housing units.

Prior to 2016, renters in social housing saw annual rent increases of eight per cent.

In 2013, the Kativik government and Makivik Corp. asked Quebec’s social housing body, the Société d’habitation du Québec, to cancel and review the region’s annual rent hikes, given Nunavik’s high cost of living.

But talks stalled and in 2016, the province had to name an independent negotiator to help move the discussion forward.

Notices with details on the new rent scale will be sent to tenants in April, the organization said.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Same old house appearances & moldy house keeps rising high rent! on

    Hello KMHB,

    Your KMHB houses are poorly constructed and moldy, there are children getting sick from the mold, skin rashes as well, the poor renovations that were done from previous years, the houses are cold, we can even see a frost on walls, why keep raising rent scale?

    Why are in communities, some elders are getting evicted in cold winter, back from 2019 KRG, SHQ and KMHB promised not to evict elders anymore, the Ministries of Elders have new policies not evict elders anymore, what’s wrong with your KMHB?!

    Why are KMHB SHQ keep buying same old house styles? Never changes in styles.
    Cheap material housing!

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  2. Posted by Should pay real amount on

    I say we have it good in Nunavik.
    Our high electricity bills are paid for us.
    Heating is very expensive and we don`t have to pay it.
    We are not billed municipal taxes either.
    The real amount of the rent would be over $2,000 a month and more if we were forced to pay the utilities, totaling maybe $3,000.

    The mold gets worse because the tenants don`t bother to report it.
    KMHB cannot go in and out to every house to inspect, that`s why `tenants`have to call for work orders.

    Some tenants live like animals and don`t clean the units that KMHB is generous enough to provide them. Some don`t pay rent either for years and years and years, but sill they are very privileged.

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    • Posted by is that how you all see as living like animals! on

      Is that how you see your tenants living like animals!

      Yet you never respond to elders being evicted or getting evicted, it is now against the law evicting an elder since October 2019 KMHB, SHQ, KRG and the Ministries set up a new rule not to evict elders!

      KMHB are breaking Government rules, and this is so frustrating for the Regional Counsellors to watch their own elders being evicted! an Elder today cannot even afford to pay constant bills deviding to big amount of grants due to living standards of high cost living in North, what can you say about that?!

      • Posted by What rules on

        I’ll say $104 a month is very affordable. Elders are given $500-$800 off their original rent. And KRG gives them $1,000 twice a year to help them out. But I think too many grown children and grandchildren are waiting for their cheques and their pensions so they can buy their booze and drugs.

        And if you buy healthy stuff at the stores, there is a big discount also with the cost-of-living program.

        • Posted by Good of a point on

          Your point is worth a thousand more. Well I say 999, because it’s still a bit expensive at them stores, but I agree with you on elders. Now, I never heard of an elder being kicked out in the cold, as I do know a few homeless that keeps their situation like that no matter the help they get. Oh , how I know so well the elders with vulnerable situations, the family just waiting to be pay day for their elder. If you look at beer sales today, it’s amazing the elders checks that pay, with no elder present. Pathetic.

    • Posted by Got to agree on

      There are people that respect their houses and treat them well. Cleaning, reporting mold and other issues when it starts , not to wait for it to destroy the house. But yes, there is the neglect too. Nunavik is not really a friendly place to build a house. I mean the resources for building are not utilized, if there are resources in the first place. We do have the tree line on the south border, but is it worth utilizing or can it be? If so we’re not doing much to make that happen. It’s all about the south supply. If it’s not from the south , looks like housing can’t happen. Oh , wait a minute, there’s a good program with kmhb. Are we thinking that people can’t afford to be in such a program of 75 percent paid for? If you look at the crowd buying beer at a said coop store on most evenings, it makes no sense that people wouldn’t be able to afford housing. Bottom line is people in Nunavik should have more respect that they can have a system like kmhb , otherwise what would we do, think about it. For information about self sufficient, go look at many a small town , in other parts of Canada, Quebec even. No kmhb support there. It’s all about pride of ownership and building.

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