Nunavik’s social housing tenants won’t see rents rise this year

Social housing agency has proposed a raise of 1.2 per cent in 2021

A quiet street in Umiujaq. Nunavik’s social housing agency said tenants in the region will not see any rent increase this year. (Photo by Sarah Rogers)

By Sarah Rogers

Nunavik’s social housing agency says tenants will not see an increase in their rent this year, thanks to a gesture from the province to ease pressure on renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau said it has been in ongoing talks with the Quebec government and its social housing agency, the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ), in an effort to lower the amount by which rent increases each year for social housing tenants.

Although the organizations have not yet come to an agreement on a new scale, the KMHB said the province has agreed to leave rent as is for 2020-21.

“Andrée Laforest [Quebec’s Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing] heard the message of the Quebeckers,” the KMHB said in a news release on Tuesday, May 19.

“She announced that there will be no rent increase for social housing in the whole province of Québec to give a break to tenants during this crisis.”

The KMHB houses about 98 per cent of Nunavik’s population—roughly 14,000 people—in about 3,468 housing units.

The KMHB has been in talks with the province as far back as 2013 about a rent freeze for Nunavik, where social housing tenants have seen increases to their rent of eight per cent a year since 2010.

The parties finally agreed on a revised rent scale for the region in 2017, which saw annual rent increases drop from eight to six per cent per year until 2019.

Without a new agreement in place, the KMHB will maintain that rent scale until June 2021, at which point they’ll have to renegotiate.

“SHQ showed openness and came with an appreciable proposal of 1.2 per cent rent increase [for next year], which is lower than the actual consumer price index,” the KMHB said in its release.

Earlier this month, the SHQ announced an interest-free loan of $1,500 in rent payment support for tenants whose incomes have been reduced due to the pandemic.

For its part, the KMHB said it has seen a slight drop in rent payments over the last couple of months, something the agency believes could be due to reduced services and office closures.

The housing bureau has posted information for tenants about how to pay rent online on its Facebook page. Nunavimmiut tenants can also pay their rent at co-op stores in all the villages apart from Kuujjuaq, where tenants can pay their rent at Newviq’vi.

Typically, eviction notices start to go out this time of year to non-paying tenants. This year, however, the Quebec government has suspended all evictions until further notice due to COVID-19.

 

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tenant on

    Looks like a heavy burden have lift off from my shoulders. It is very difficult to make rent payments these days, especially when you live in an isolated world, high cost of living, to the point where you have to try to make ends meet with little success. Even if you have a good paying job, you have to literally try to keep up with everything. I can never understand this; rent increases every year and yet the house is getting old, with poor constructions, they waste millions of dollars when they poorly try to renovate houses, for example; my rented house was renovated some years ago, but as soon as we moved in to the house, certain things started to fall out easily, they do only one layer of painting on the walls, they windows are poorly installed, some windows cannot even close properly. Floor tiles easily crack up, the doors in the porch and outside can barely close well, to the point where a lot of snow or rain can easily pile up in the porch. The cupboards easily break, and its’ covers get easily become moldy, during the winter time, some of the area of the house is extremely cold, you can hear the dogs barking in distance. When its raining, the water drains from the windows which makes the wall become mold and the paint comes off easily, and yet, our rent increases way way up each year. We are lack of housing maintenance. So, my point is this; our rent must go down every year as the same as the house getting older. We have the most cheapest quality houses in Nunavik. Today, when they build houses, they make duplex houses with no emergency back doors, and they share one water tank and sewage, and when the other side is on fire, the whole house burns down. Oh and one more thing, we don’t even get our receipts from KMHB when we pay our rent. What we need is a good housing service like we used to have.

    • Posted by Rent payer on

      I agree with you, the problem is , that , a lot of people around here don t even bother to pay their rent

    • Posted by David on

      Well, you have to be realistic too.

      Everything in Nunavik is about two and a half times as expensive as the south. Meanwhile, I checked the rent scale…… Nunavik rents are about half what you would pay in small towns in the south. That’s small towns, not cities. Google away if you don’t believe me. I’d be very curious to know what percentage of rent goes to electricity and heat, it has to be over half.

      Sorry, some parts of Nunavik life are expensive. Rent isn’t one of them.

      • Posted by I agree on

        I feel so grateful to have to pay only $941 for a four bedroom, whereas it would be almost $3,000 in the city. Everything included; heating, electricity, taxes and maintenance.

        Poor, shoddy work should be blamed on the construction company. Also Makivik and KRG for hiring the lowest bidders

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