Social housing
Federal funds to steadily decrease

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 04/99) - An agreement with the federal government means the GNWT will keep responsibility for the administration of social housing money.

The agreement is a result of the creation of Nunavut.

Before Nunavut, Ottawa gave the entire NWT one lump sum for social housing.

But an agreement with Nunavut as soon as it was created on April 1 meant a similar agreement needed to be signed with the GNWT.

"With this agreement, the new NWT has a continued commitment from the federal government for funding," said Floyd Roland, who is the minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corp.

But despite Roland's positive words, Doug Johnson, who is a spokesperson with the NWT Housing Corp., said there is no new money in the deal.

Currently, the federal government pays $33 million annually to support 2,700 federally supported social housing units in the NWT.

The GNWT contributes a total of $41 million.

This money pays for maintenance of social housing as well as wages.

But Johnson said one part of the agreement, which will be in place until 2038, holds that the federal government will contribute a steadily decreasing amount.

"The (federal) funding will slowly decline over the next 40 years until it is down to zero in 2038," Johnson said.

"The programs have a time frame and as the programs end the money decreases."

The NWT and the federal government originally signed a social housing agreement on April 24, 1997.

Signatories at the time anticipated that a new agreement would be required to recognize the creation of Nunavut.

Alphonso Gagliano, minister for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., signed the agreement for the federal government.