Taloyoak public housing units on list of cancelled, delayed projects, minister says

With the cost of construction up 30 per cent, four four-plexes also cancelled for Iqaluit

Public housing construction projects are being cancelled or delayed, amid pandemic-related delays and skyrocketing material costs. (Photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Plans to put up two duplexes in Taloyoak have been shelved because the construction company couldn’t get bonding — insurance to protect the client, or in this case, the Nunavut Housing Corp.

Margaret Nakashuk, the minister responsible for the corporation, said the project is no longer proceeding after Emiliano Qirngnuq, the MLA for Netsilik, asked for an update in the legislative assembly on Friday.

“They were planning to start this year, but we cannot continue with them,” Nakashuk said. “There are the same things happening in other communities.”

In total, projects that would create 30 housing units have been cancelled across the territory.

Four four-plexes — meaning 16 units — set to be built in Iqaluit were halted because project bids came in $3.3 million over budget as a result of the spike in prices for lumber and other construction materials.

Construction costs are up 30 per cent over last year, Nakashuk said in an email.

The construction of a five-plex set for Rankin Inlet is stalled because the lot is not ready, but it will proceed when it is, Nakashuk said.

In Pangnirtung, plans for a five-plex for Government of Nunavut staff housing are currently being reviewed.

Nakashuk said the plan is for the stalled and cancelled projects to be revisited next year.

Across Nunavut’s communities, 74 public housing units are still being built, including multi-unit buildings in Coral Harbour, Rankin Inlet, Naujaat, Kugaaruk, Sanirajak and Pond Inlet.

In Sanikiluaq, a four-plex is set to be built for staff housing.

Pat Angnakak, the MLA representing Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu, asked Jeannie Hakongak Ehaloak, the minister of community and government services, about other projects cancelled in Iqaluit due to “dramatically escalating construction costs.”

Ehaloak said “the pandemic will undoubtedly have impacts on scheduling and costs of some projects which could lead to delays,” including for the capital city’s deep-sea port.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Oh! The fallacy on

    The GN needs to privatize Public Housing to the Private Sector. They can do it more efficiently

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    • Posted by george flaherty on

      What are you talking about – NCC owns most of the staff housing properties in IQ,
      NHC just collects the rent.

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      • Posted by Staff housing? on

        This is about PUBLIC housing not STAFF units. NCC doesn’t build public housing I don’t think

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    • Posted by Fallacy smallacy on

      I don’t disagree, but think generally the GN should be reducing the amount of available social housing, not increasing it. If you don’t work and don’t go to school, you’re not entitled to housing. The rest of Canada knows this, but in Nunavut people act as if it is their constitutional right for them, their 8 children, and 10 grand children, to be housed in public housing for $50/month. I don’t know where this comes from. It is a serious problem when we’ll over half of all houses in territory are social housing.

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      • Posted by Pork Pie on

        I agree with you insofar as the reliance on social housing is not desirable or sustainable and does provide a slew of bad incentives.

        On the other hand new housing does need to be built, and without it we will see exponential increases in human suffering. So, cutting off new builds is not really an acceptable position either.

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  2. Posted by krjames on

    The whole logistical/political issue of how to coordinate federal building/housing policy with far-flung territories like Nunavut interests me (as a lay person). If anyone can suggest some literature or information sites about this topic I’d be most grateful.

  3. Posted by Baffiner on

    Qaqqaq’s ‘laughable’ comment on housing isnt sounding so immature now, huh.

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    • Posted by Candide on

      I don’t know, why not? Maybe you could expand on this?

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    • Posted by Yes she is immature. on

      Private companies are cancelling builds all across the Arctic. Many of the planned developments can’t take place due to the extreme increase in building costs. This isn’t because their wasent enough money for these planned projects when planning it’s because there’s a global supply chain issue. 30% is an understatement. Steel has doubled plywood has doubled, labour has increased significantly with isolation costs as a result of having to pay workers doing nothing for two weeks.

      It’s amazing honestly anything is being built until the supply chain settles. If it was all privately owned and not from the bleeding pockets of tax payers paying for these builds I’m sure the majority would be cancelled.

      Covid increasing costs certainly foes not dismiss our MP’s immature comments that lacked complete substance. Her strategy was that of a peanut galary rather than using poise and elaboration. It made her… Well… Laughable I’d say!

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      • Posted by TGC on

        Been following what is happening, when the presses are burning hot printing money as is happening in the States, and when our and global finances are locked in to that then something has to give.

  4. Posted by Haves and Have-Nots on

    Although the entire territory has a housing shortage, there is a huge difference between the Have and the Have-Not communities. Taloyoak is definitely one of the have-not communities, and I feel for them for losing these units.

    • Posted by Nattering Nabob on

      The seldom spoken reality that I assume most people who really think about these issues must know is that communities like Taloyoak are unlikely to ever be anything but have-not communities. They are economically unviable and will almost certainly remain so. There are many others like this too, as you allude to.

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