Paulie Chinna: Community Housing Plan Update

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — February 15, 2023

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Mr. Speaker, today I would like to provide an update on the progress of Housing NWT’s Community Housing Plans, which is a comprehensive, detailed information document to better direct housing investment in NWT communities.

Through partnerships with Indigenous governments, community governments, and stakeholders, over the last three years housing plans have been completed in Fort Good Hope, Whatì, Paulatuk, Enterprise, Nahanni Butte, and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.

These plans provide communities and stakeholders with the tools necessary to direct the future of housing in their communities. A housing plan includes an assessment that combines baseline data with housing needs identified by the community. It also includes the housing plan itself, which identifies the community’s goals as well as actions for future housing investment. As set out in Housing NWT’s mandate, we understand the importance of meaningful partnerships with communities, and it is essential that these plans are the products of meaningful collaboration. 

Mr. Speaker, Housing NWT recognizes that each community has unique needs.
The Community Housing Plans initiative was developed in recognition of this, and to give communities a voice to express their own housing situation, issues and priorities. For example, Paulatuk’s housing plan reinforces the need for contextual home design that recognizes the community’s location on the Arctic Coast. The Kátł’odeeche First Nation’s plan prioritizes energy efficient housing and innovative ways to share materials and expertise. In Enterprise, community leadership prioritized the need for improved communication, both internal and external, while Nahanni Butte has a significant focus on self-sufficiency and community development. In Fort Good Hope, priority was placed on building local capacity to be able to support private home repairs. 

As of today, ten additional plans are currently underway, at various stages of completion. As part of the development of the Hay River housing plan, Housing NWT and the Town of Hay River hosted a housing forum in the fall which brought together stakeholders from across the community to discuss solutions to housing issues in Hay River. Additionally, Housing NWT has partnered with the Town of Fort Smith and work on their housing plan began in December 2022.

In the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, we have partnered with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to develop a regional housing plan. As part of this work, staff from both organizations have travelled to Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok to hear from community residents and leadership and will be visiting the other Inuvialuit communities in the coming months.

Through the community engagement processes various elements are reviewed and prioritized and one such example is with one community, whose plan is under development, includes plans for a local shelter to assist women and children fleeing violence.  

Mr. Speaker, with the arrival of federal distinctions-based funding to Indigenous governments, and to avoid duplication of work, Housing NWT is no longer proposing to develop unique Community Housing Plans for all 33 communities. Instead, we are supporting the development of Community Housing Plans where community or Indigenous government leadership has expressed an interest.

Mr. Speaker, strong partnerships are key to successful outcomes, and these Community Housing Plans are proof of that. We are excited to combine the work on Community Housing Plans, along with our work on the partnerships with Indigenous governments to improve our supports working on priorities that are important to the individual communities and regions.

We will continue to reach out and work in partnership with Indigenous governments, community governments and stakeholders to increase the wellbeing of individuals and communities as we continue to address the territory’s housing needs. 

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.