Plan 2000 tries to meet demand
GNWT spending $120 million on new housing projects

by Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 14/97) - As populations grow so does the demand for decent housing. But according to the NWT Housing Corporation, the North is failing to keep up.

In fact, there is an estimated shortage of more than 4,500 units across this vast territory. Enter Plan 2000.

Recently, Goo Arlooktoo (left), the minister responsible for the Housing Corporation, announced a new plan to put families into 2,000 new and reconditioned houses by the year 2000.

At a recent Keewatin Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting, Arlooktoo and Joe Handley, president of the NWT Housing Corporation, said 50 new units will be built this summer, igniting Plan 2000.

Where these units will go has yet to be decided.

"We needed to do something to stimulate economic activity," Arlooktoo said at the meeting.

The territorial government intends to spend about $120 million over the next three years on the project, utilizing local construction contractors, carpenters and available labor.

Handley estimates that about 60 to 75 per cent of the money will go toward building new units as opposed to renovating existing homes.

The principles of Plan 2000 are to maximize use of private financing to help more clients with available corporation funding, making it easier for clients to use bank financing to purchase a home and to make it easier for hamlet residents to own their own homes -- in their home communities.

"It's a once in a lifetime chance to get a home," said Handley.