Yellowknife (April 16, 2012) - The Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) today announced the release of Building for the Future - Northern Solutions for Northern Housing, the NWTHC’s new strategic framework for housing delivery in the Northwest Territories. This strategic framework is the result of the recently completed Shelter Policy Review carried out by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT.) The Review was led by the NWTHC and the Department of the Executive and involved an extensive examination of housing need across the NWT.
“The NWTHC is pleased to share this long-term strategic framework that will guide the way forward in delivering housing programs and services to residents in need across the NWT,” said Minister McLeod. “We look forward to implementing the actions outlined in the strategic plan, with some of the actions described in Building for the Future - Northern Solutions for Northern Housing being implemented during this fiscal year.”
The strategic framework builds on the success of existing housing programs and services, incorporates changes where they are needed, and proposes new programming and services where gaps were identified in meeting the housing needs of NWT residents across the spectrum, from homelessness to homeownership. The feedback and input by NWT residents was very important to the review process and impacted the strategic direction that is outlined in the strategic framework.
Many common themes came out of the Shelter Policy Review process, one of the most critical was the call for a revised Public Housing Program rent scale. The NWTHC is also introducing a new public housing rent scale that will be implemented on July 1, 2012. The new rent scale is based on making rents simpler and more predictable, with increased fairness. The rent scale is designed to support self-reliance and strengthen the Public Housing Program.
The new rent scale will apply to approximately 2,400 public housing units currently operated by the NWTHC. “The change in the public housing rent scale is significant and I believe it addresses the concerns that residents have expressed for many years, including that the previous approach to calculating rent contributed to dependency and led to a disincentive to work,” said Minister McLeod. The new public housing rent scale is described in the attached overview.
The change to the public housing rent scale is one element of the strategic priorities outlined in Building for the Future - Northern Solutions for Northern Housing. The priority areas include the following.
- Strengthening Public Housing
- Improving Homeownership Supports
- Increasing Housing Options in Non-Market Communities
- Improving Housing Services
- Strengthening the Approach to Homelessness and Transition Housing
- Addressing Housing Challenges for the Working Poor
- Developing Infrastructure Solutions Based on Individual and Community Needs
- Addressing Declining Federal Funding
“We recognize that a one-size fits all approach does not always address the individual needs of residents and their communities and the priorities outlined in the NWTHC’s new strategic framework strengthens self-reliance and support for NWT residents to meet their varied housing needs,” said Minister McLeod. “The actions set out in this strategic plan forms the foundation on which we can continue to build and strengthen the delivery of housing programs, services and supports to those in need, not only under this 17th Legislative Assembly, but also over the long-term.”
For more information or to obtain a copy of the Building for the Future - Northern Solutions for Northern Housing document, please visit NWTHC’s website: www.nwthc.gov.nt.ca.
Strategic Planning, Policy and Communications
Northwest Territories Housing Corporation
Tel: (867) 873 – 7854
Building for the Future - Northern Solutions for Northern Housing
Backgrounder - Overview of New Public Housing Rent Scales
Qs and As - Building for the Future
Qs and As - Public Housing Rent Scales