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NWT Chamber Submission to NWT Housing Review

Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the Standing Committee on Social Development regarding the NWT Housing Review – Homeowners and Private Landlords.  On behalf of our 110 members, 5 Community Chambers, and over 6,000 businesses in the NWT, we have been advocating for many of the stated questions.  Changes to homeownership and private landlords outside of Yellowknife are an excellent way to develop positive social outcomes and economic diversification for our communities.
We are facing a real housing crisis in the NWT, one that is for all of us to solve, private industry included.  But we need a level playing field for the private sector to enter into the rental market.  Currently, the NWT Housing Corporation holds a monopoly on the rental market in every community in the NWT except Yellowknife.  There is no private company, regardless of size, that can compete with these rental prices and provide utilities at no cost. Currently, we have professionals in housing units as there is nowhere else to house them. In one community, you have had teachers living in the old age home.  These professionals are more than capable of paying fair market rent plus utilities. As we move towards settling land claims and self-government, there will be an even higher demand for professionals to move into our communities. Private industry has repeatedly attempted to purchase abandoned and derelict homes from either the federal government or the Housing Corp with minimal success. If so, they cannot afford the project as they can not compete with the market rent as dictated by the Housing Corp.  Norman Wells & District Chamber and ourselves have highlighted the issues and concerns in a letter from 2018 to then Minister Alfred Moses.  We have also included the rental rates per community which are nowhere near what market rates are.  This is a great example of private industry taking over the burden of liabilities for the Housing Corp as well as adding not only continued skilled labour, but a stream of economy into a community
Full Letter

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