Nunavik short 893 homes, according to social-housing survey

‘Overcrowding in all categories of housing is still a reality,’ says report

A new Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau survey found there is a need for 893 new units region-wide, compared to a need of 1,041 units in 2019 and 1,105 in 2017. (File photo by Sarah Rogers)

By Sarah Rogers

The results of a new social housing survey in Nunavik shows the region’s housing deficit has eased for the first time in eight years, but there are still hundreds of families in need of homes.

The survey, published in June and presented to the Kativik Regional Government during meetings this week, found there is a need of 893 new units region-wide, compared to a need of 1,041 units in 2019 and 1,105 in 2017.

The survey was put together by the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau.

The housing bureau oversees a stock of 3,679 social housing units across Nunavik, which house about 97 per cent of the region’s population.

It surveyed 4,410 families living in 3,517 of those units and determined 893 of those households had more than one family living together in the same home.

The majority of Nunavimmiut, about 52 per cent, are living in four-, five- or six-person households. Just over 18 per cent live in households with more than seven cohabitants.

That overcrowding is felt more intensely in some communities: Salluit, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq have the greatest housing needs. For example, Puvirnituq would need 230 new units to sufficiently house its population.

Social housing in Nunavik is meant to be guaranteed through the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, though it’s funded through tripartite agreements that both the Kativik Regional Government and Makivik Corp. continue to negotiate and update with both the federal and provincial governments.

“This study shows that the housing situation in Nunavik has improved between 2013 and 2021,” the survey said.

“New construction will continue to improve conditions for residents. However, population growth in Nunavik requires that the KRG and Makivik, in association with the KMHB, continue to work towards raising the funds to build new housing.

“Overcrowding in all categories of housing is still a reality that the administrators must deal with.”

Of the 893 units needed across Nunavik, the vast majority of what is required would be one-bedroom units. That speaks to the shifting demographics in the region; with a young population, many of the homes needed are for single people or young couples.

“Going forward, the KMHB must note the specific needs of those 893 families,” the report said.

“[We] need to consider that the population is young and that they may require more housing in the future.”

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau did not respond to a request for comment on the survey results.

Nunavik Housing Needs Survey 2021 by NunatsiaqNews on Scribd

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Financial reality on

    We could build those 893 homes and in 10 years we’d be right back where we started. The problem is NOT a lack of houses, it’s an endlessly growing population in a region with not enough economic activity to support it, and not enough willing workers even for those jobs that are available. People who don’t have the financial means to support even themselves should not be having kids and growing the population. That’s the root of the problem. Until people become self-supporting and only have as many kids as they can support, they will always be underhoused, government will never be able to keep up.

    • Posted by No need on

      Alright…and what would you suggest as a solution to everything you are mentioning. It is easy to point out problems but your comment would be more pertinent and helpful if you named at the very least one thing that could be done about this.

  2. Posted by tenant on

    For a couple wanting to move to a smaller ,say a 2 bedroom housing, the two room hse are very not adequately built.. like no air circulation, small porch etc. one of the reasons ppl like only 2ppl still living in a big 4 or 3 bedroom don`t want to move or exchange. Need houses built for north. bad designs being built in recent years.

    • Posted by S on

      Good observations, tenant

      Housing, and in this context, public housing, is as complex in Nunavik as it is elsewhere – including Nunavut and the other territories, or cities like Winnipeg and Vancouver
      In fact, from a public housing perspective, problems are very homogeneous across the land.

      One unique problem to the small communities in Nunvik and Nunavut, where nearly all housing is public housing and where those are administered by local housing associations, is the one that you identified.
      Housing is often misallocated, with large and even multi-generational families living in severely overcrowded conditions, while the neighboring public housing unit is underoccupied.
      That is a political phenomenon, a circumstance which underlies many other unacceptable conditions in small communities in Nunavik and Nunavut.
      I could tell you much, much, more


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