Quebec housing minister hopes to build more homes in Nunavik
France-Élaine Duranceau spent 3 days in Kuujjuaq, participated in Housing Day activities
After wrapping up a three-day visit in Kuujjuaq, Quebec Housing Minister France-Élaine Duranceau is promising to collaborate with regional organizations to get more housing built across Nunavik as early as next year.
Duranceau didn’t provide an exact number of units she expects to see built or a timeline. However, meetings with the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau, Kativik Regional Government, Makivvik Corp. and community members helped her understand some of the critical housing needs in the region, she said in an interview.
“I want more planning to be able to execute, because in the North it’s not like you want to build and everything is readily available,” Duranceau said.
“So the goal will be to have units in 2024 … that will break ground or that can even be delivered.”
The Kuujjuaq visit was her first to Nunavik since she was named housing minister last October.
In March this year, her Coalition Avenir Québec government allocated $43 million to address housing issues in Nunavik.
A breakdown of that spending was released Thursday as Duranceau was taking part in Kativik housing bureau’s annual housing day initiatives.
The breakdown is as follows:
- $3.2 million for construction of a housing materials storage warehouse in Kangiqsujuaq;
- $20 million to go toward repairing damaged housing;
- $19.8 million to improve the housing stock in Nunavik.
From her meetings, Duranceau said it’s clear people in Nunavik are committed to improving access to housing across the region.
Describing Nunavik as “a great place to live,” she said it’s her job to listen and respond by providing the needed funding and other resources.
“This is going to allow me to be a better ambassador for the needs for the North every year,” she said.
“Now that I understand better the priority of the people locally, I’ll be able to advocate that for the next budget.”
Marco Audet, the housing bureau’s director general, also expressed optimism over Duranceau’s visit.
Audet said the minister showed interest in what community members had to say, and that he’s hopeful she’ll respond to the serious demands for better housing.
“This is a great occasion to share about our concerns, our challenges, our needs, so it was a very important moment,” Audet said in an interview.
“We really felt that we were supported.”