Residents of Iqaluit apartment building have gone almost 2 weeks with no running water
Sewage backup sends stench throughout Iqaluit House; Northview REIT not answering questions, say tenants
Residents of an Iqaluit apartment building have gone almost two weeks without running water while coping with a sewage backup in their shared laundry room.
They say their landlord, Northview REIT, has not given word on when these issues will be fixed.
Northview rents apartments and leases office space at Iqaluit House, where the water has been off since Feb. 4. The stench of sewage permeates the entire building, thanks to a backup that started Feb. 12.
Jen Hayward, chief executive of Outcrop Group, rents one of the commercial units on the building’s ground floor and one residential unit for staff housing. She said the situation has been frustrating.
“I wholeheartedly recognize how challenging building and infrastructure issues are in the North,” she said. “From that perspective, this is not on [Northview].
“What has been challenging though is the communication and getting any kind of updates and getting any kind of response.”
Nunatsiaq News contacted Northview for an interview. A manager, who did not give his name, said the director, who’s name was also not given, is out of town and no one else is able to speak on the matter. He said to call back next week.
The City of Iqaluit shut down its entire water system on Feb. 4 to fix a major leak near the Tammaativvik boarding home.
The following day, the city said the water was running again and if any rental unit didn’t have water, it was up to residents to contact their landlord.
Hayward’s employees have been using buckets of water to flush toilets and wash dishes, while showering at the gym or Hayward’s house.
She said she’s heard Northview has given out some vouchers to shower at the Aquatic Centre, although neither Hayward nor her staff who live in the building have received one.
After the sewage started backing up, Hayward said a Northview worker in the hallway told her not to flush anything.
“You can’t stay like that,” Hayward said. “You can’t even use the washroom when you wake up in the morning.”
Right now, the business is operating out of a client’s office. Hayward relocated one of her staff members to another unit and found a friend to house another staff member for the time being.
Hayward asked Northview for different housing options and called Capital Suites, which Northview also owns, but to no avail. She hasn’t asked for a rent reduction yet, as she wants to wait for the situation to be resolved.
“They’re certainly apologetic. And that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m just looking for answers and a solution,” she said. “How much longer am I going to have to camp out in a client’s office?”
Nunatsiaq News visited the building and spoke to several other residents, who declined to identify themselves. One man described filling buckets at his place of work in order to flush his toilet and shower, while another resident said Northview has provided some potable water.
They all said Northview has been extremely difficult to contact for clear answers about when the situation will be fixed.
City spokesperson Kent Driscoll said the problem with Building 622 is with a service pipe.
“The service pipes are the responsibility of the landlord. The city is aware of the problem, but service pipes are a landlord issue,” Driscoll wrote to Nunatsiaq News in an email.
He said Northview has hired a contractor to dig and find the broken pipe to repair it, which is happening in the parking lot outside of CIBC on Sivumugiaq Street.