Nunavut students turn over house as part of housing strategy

By Livete Ataguyuk, Nunatsiaq News - December 28, 2023

New public housing unit now part Rankin Housing Association

The community of Rankin Inlet celebrated the success of a capacity-building pilot project with a new public housing unit built by students from the Sanatuliqsarvik Nunavut Trades Training Centre Apprenticeship Program in Rankin Inlet (File photo / Nunatsiaq News)

Nunavut is one house closer to its goal of building 3,000 new housing units by the end of this decade.

Students at Sanatuliqsarvik Nunavut Trades Training Centre used the skills they’ve learned in the apprenticeship program there to build a new public housing unit in Rankin Inlet.

A ceremony was held on December 19 to hand over the finished building to Nunavut Housing Corp., with a reception at the Nunavut Arctic College Trades School.

“Nunavut Arctic College is proud to be part of this effort,” college president Rebecca Mearns said in a news release.

“Approximately 40 students were involved in the housing project from start to finish. Our students built a new three-bedroom public housing unit that will help a family on the housing waitlist.”

Representatives from the college, Nunavut Housing Corp., and the Government of Nunavut Department of Family Services career development division partnered with Sakku Investments Corp. on the project, which was termed a “capacity-building pilot project” in the release.

It started with a memorandum of understanding under the Igluliuqatigiingniq Nunavut 3000 Strategic Plan, which the GN introduced in October 2022 to see 3,000 new homes built by the end of the decade to address the territory’s severe housing shortage.

For this project, the college hired students who graduated in June to work during the summer, and high school students also had a chance to be involved. As well, trade school faculty and staff joined in with six trades instructors and six support administration staff.

In addition to construction skills, the students learned to plan and organize the daily work.

Calling construction a “significant industry” in the territory, Lorne Kusugak, the Government of Nunavut minister responsible for the housing corporation, said that “minimizing the need to transport workers to and from the territory by developing the local labour force’s skills will help control long-term building and maintenance costs.

“More so, Inuit training and northern labour is a priority” for the housing corporation.”

Nunatsiaq News is the newspaper of record for Nunavut and the Nunavik territory of Quebec. It has been published since 1973 and reaches 50,000 readers in 39 eastern Arctic communities each week through its website and weekly e-editions. Its editorial team offers credible, in-depth, award-winning journalism, drawing readers from northern and southern Canada and around the world. Nunatsiaq News is owned by Nortext Publishing Corp., which maintains offices in Iqaluit and Ottawa.