Alfred Moses: Northern Housing Summit

Yellowknife — March 12, 2019
Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Mr. Speaker, there have been many positive initiatives developed as we have worked to fulfill mandate commitments related to housing.  Good quality and affordable housing in our communities cannot be brought about just from the efforts of government.  We need to engage all parties that have the capability and the willingness to improve housing conditions for our residents. 

Mr. Speaker, I will be hosting a Northern Housing Summit in Inuvik on April 24 and 25, 2019 with the express intent of creating more housing partnerships. Invitees include representatives of all governments, development corporations, private industry, non-governmental organizations, political leaders and other decision-makers.

We have made great strides in collaboration already through the Community Housing Support Initiative, the Community Housing Plan process and the Northern Pathways to Housing projects. Through these initiatives, we are reaping the rewards of working together to meet community needs. 

These initiatives are best practices in housing, Mr. Speaker.  We need to share how we achieved these successes and move forward on implementing them in other communities. These approaches acknowledge that housing decisions and planning cannot be undertaken by one party alone.  To truly lead the way with housing, we all need to work together. 

Mr. Speaker, this Northern Housing Summit will also help position our stakeholders to take advantage of the unprecedented level of housing investments available now. For instance, with the National Housing Strategy, we are seeing funding that can be accessed at the local level.  Speakers from the federal government in attendance at the Northern Housing Summit, will give stakeholders the opportunity to learn more about how to access these investments.  They will be able to sit down with multiple parties to explore their housing ambitions through the partnership-based National Housing Co-investment Fund.  Participants will hear about investment opportunities under the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation’s Community Housing Support Initiative.  Additionally, there will be information on how to access funding to train youth and support apprentices.

Participants will not only be hearing from government.  Community proponents will be speaking about their experiences with housing planning and developing housing projects.  Other topics include developing the next generation of skilled trade workers, pan-northern housing construction practices and Indigenous housing design. Invitations will also be going out to housing experts in other northern jurisdictions so that they can share their knowledge and experiences.

Further, we know that there are challenges for some Indigenous groups in the Northwest Territories in accessing federal funds identified under the Indigenous Housing Fund streams.  I will meet with Indigenous leaders attending the Summit to look at how we can ensure that all our Indigenous governments can access this funding.  We have had great success in our partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and I would like to see that success expand across the Northwest Territories.

The Northern Housing Summit is also forward-looking.  We must all do our part to fight climate change, and action is needed in the housing field, as well.  Attendees will be able to participate in a Green Energy Solutions session.  Approaches and technology, change and improve over time, and this event can showcase those advances and highlight efforts already undertaken in the North that have yielded results.

Mr. Speaker, the Northern Housing Summit will be a great opportunity for communities and stakeholders to come together, learn from each other and forge a new and shared future of housing in the Northwest Territories.  I am looking forward to hosting this event and to the opportunities and investments that will come from it. 

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.