Nunavut has highest rate of inadequate, unaffordable housing: report

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. describes territory’s issues with home ownership, rental costs

An infographic compares housing statistics among three urban centres in the North, taken from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Northern Housing Report – 2022. (Infographic courtesy of CMHC)

By Nunatsiaq News

The number of Nunavut households living in unsuitable, inadequate or unaffordable housing is more than three times higher than the national average, according to a new report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.

This is what the corporation defines as living in “core housing need.” Census data from 2021 shows 32.9 per cent of Nunavut households are in core housing need compared to the Canada-wide average of 10.1 per cent.

The 2022 Northern Housing Report, released Wednesday, also shows that Nunavut, like other provinces and territories, saw significant increases in the purchase price of properties, as well as rising costs in the rental market.

It states the average price of a single-detached home in Nunavut rose to an all-time high of $615,362 in 2021. That’s a 14 per cent increase over 2020 prices.

For a resale home, the average sale price hit $706,950.

As a result of higher purchase prices and increasing interest rates, the average monthly cost of a new mortgage across Nunavut in the second quarter of 2022 rose to $1,976 — a five per cent jump over one year that adds up to $15,700 extra over a five-year term.

For those in search of a rental unit, the outlook is no more promising.

According to the report, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment (excluding social housing and vacancies) in Iqaluit in 2021 was $2,823 per month, an increase of 1.4 per cent over 2020 and more than double the cost of a two-bedroom unit in Whitehorse.

While affordability continues to be an issue, the high costs of construction and limited availability of adequate land for building have led to a critically low vacancy rate.

In Iqaluit, the rental vacancy rate was below one per cent, which was the same as Whitehorse and lower than Yellowknife.

Due to higher living costs, lower income levels and limited employment opportunities, most residents in the territory rely on public or subsidized housing, according to the report.

In October, the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Housing Corp. announced Nunavut 3000, a plan to build 3,000 new housing units across the territory by the year 2030 at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.

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(18) Comments:

  1. Posted by Mike Cunning on

    3000 houses at $2.6 billion is $867,000.00 per house. That sure seems high to me.

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    • Posted by Very High Indeed on

      It sure is high, when you consider that not all the housing units will be new builds. This is over $4million for a 5plex!!!!

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      A single family home costs about $700-$750K to build (turnkey). These 3000 units are likely not going single family homes but some of higher density residential development. Townhomes, apartments or the like.

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      • Posted by Million Dollar Baby on

        When they refer to “units” they refer to housing units, not buildings. So if they build a 4-plex townhouse, that counts as 4 units, not one. Which makes the $867k figure look worse in light of your statement about single family detached homes costing $700-$750k each, as there should be efficiencies when plexes are built.

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      • Posted by Up Here on

        One of the goals of the building apartment plexes is to force Inuit to have smaller families and reduce their outdoor activities by denying them space for parking snow machines or having outdoor equipment sheds. I was in one of those meetings. No Inuit in the conversation. The CMHC money requires small, urban apartments in all communities with no allowance for children or elderly. More than 60% of units to be in 3-story walk-ups. The GN and CMHC are going to require hamlets reduce parking requirements to half, meaning families will not have parking to own a car.They will be expected to walk. This last part is for Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet only. The objective is to “get units built” even if that means altering Inuit and northern lifestyles, and planning for fewer Inuit children.

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    • Posted by Housing Profit on

      Many of the “units” will be individual beds in a shelter-like setting.
      Such transition housing is needed, and it is better than nothing, but at $867,000.00 per bed???
      .
      Looks like there’s lots of “profit” built in for the right people.

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  2. Posted by Arrowhead on

    I’m sure after all the Reno’s the cost would go up on those units renovated. Some people have know care in the world for what they are living in, Holes everywhere!! Just look at TikTok, have pride! That’s your home!! Like my Rez75% of the windows are sheets of wood.

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  3. Posted by Live in the arctic on

    This is out of touch as the hamlets and City of Iqaluit has not mentioned and Land to built it how will this be dealt with as one area was already talked about 14 years ago and never had been mentioned again,

    Power Play all talks no Action like some people who sure can shove and make no Movements,

    Will you all Nunavutmuit take agreements on thos proposal as you wanted Nunavut and take the beating on high cost to live in a house.

    Home owner Iqaluit

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  4. Posted by Greedy contractor on

    WOW, 1 million for a house in NUnavut, I am going to be Rich,Rich.

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  5. Posted by Flabbergasted on

    In Nunavut – it has to be the most expensive territory in the whole wide world to be in the news constantly , we should be the top number one contender for the most expensive territory to service – globally . This territory beats all domestic distributors by selling a can of coka cola for a staggering $5.00 ! —-and that is NOT liquor ! —–imagine now a mickey bottle of vodka –persay is going for an arm at $200 ! That is sadly our territory in the most inhospitable places on earth is where the governments has situated us .

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    • Posted by Magellan on

      You don’t have to stay there. Travel is open now & the Charter of Rights says you can live where you want.

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      • Posted by Translation on

        You also have the freedom to move wherever you want. Yet you keep yourself and your families in the most expensive Canadian territory to live. Seize the opportunities given to you and IMPROVE YOUR LIFE.

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    • Posted by Oh? on

      Guess you’ve never heard of Hong Kong before…

      • Posted by Flabbergasted on

        Great guess ! Indeed I have been to the orient but you lack knowledge of Singapore.

  6. Posted by Flabbergasted on

    In Nunavut – it has to be the most expensive territory in the whole wide world to be in the news constantly , we should be the top number one contender for the most expensive territory to service – globally . This territory beats all domestic distributors by selling a can of coka cola for a staggering $5.00 ! That is sadly our territory in some of the most inhospitable places on earth is where the governments has situated us .

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    • Posted by Follow the Opportunity on

      So exercise your rights to live elsewhere. There is a huge and prosperous Inuit population in Ottawa/Montreal/Winnipeg – nothing stopping you from pursuing opportunity. That is the Canadian way.

  7. Posted by Kugmiut on

    I personally built my 16×26 cabin and I can tell you that is a quarter of the size of a regular “detached bungalow” , to add on three more of these shacks and make a house is a thousand times cheaper , my other cabin is a mansion at 4k Sq.ft. and it has costed myself about 50k to build it completely so the numbers here are staggered immensely . The contractors have been laughing all the way to the bank without ever leaving a legacy behind with trained individuals who can also hammer nails in wood our western territory beats any province or other territories in Canada for the cost of domestic products

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  8. Posted by Old timer on

    I’m in a 3 bed room unit that is still to small for a family of 7 and high cost for the rent just thinking of going to a 1 bedroom to keep up with the cost and just be more overcrowded just so we can buy food to eat.

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