Addressing Urgent Housing Needs in Northern and Inuit Communities

November 25, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Housing is a fundamental need and the foundation for strong and healthy communities. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing urgent housing needs in Northern and Inuit communities through significant investments of up to $167.7 million from Budget 2016. This funding will not only address the shortage of housing, but it will also have a positive impact on health and socio-economic opportunities.

Three Inuit regions have now received $80 million earmarked in Budget 2016, delivered through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, to address housing needs in three Inuit regions:

  • $50 million for Nunavik in Quebec;
  • $15 million for Nunatsiavut in Newfoundland and Labrador; and
  • $15 million for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories.

Budget 2016 also provides $96.7 million over two years, to the territories through CMHC’s Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), to address urgent housing needs in Northern communities, including:

  • $8 million to the Yukon;
  • $12 million to the Northwest Territories;
  • $76.7 million to Nunavut.

Earlier this week, the Government of Canada also announced Budget 2016 housing funding for First Nation communities, of which $1.25 millions was allocated for two Labrador Innu communities – Mushuau Innu First Nation and Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, both in Newfoundland.

Projects will support job creation and skills training that lead to stronger, healthier Northern First Nation and Inuit communities.


“Investments in housing in northern regions will help address overcrowding and major repair issues. The Inuit regions suffer from the highest rates of overcrowding amongst any group in Canada. This funding is part of Canada’s goal to recognize and enhance the relationship between Canada and the northern regions, and will build on existing initiatives, boosting the economic participation in the northern regions.”

Yvonne Jones,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and Member of Parliament for Labrador

“Households in the North endure some of the most sub-standard housing conditions in Canada. I am delighted that our Government is taking steps to improve housing and living conditions in Northern communities with immediate funding from our investment in social infrastructure. This funding will help create jobs, improve health outcomes and provide stability from which Northerners can leverage social and economic outcomes for their families and communities.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos,
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, P.C., M.P.

Quick facts

  • Housing costs in the North are significantly higher than those in the South due to harsh climate, limited transportation infrastructure, short construction seasons and a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.
  • The lack of a viable housing market and barriers to private financing also continue to limit the availability and affordability of housing options for Northerners.
  • Overall, Northern households are more likely to be overcrowded than those in the South (16% as compared to 6%).
  • Northern housing units are also three times more likely to require major repair than units in the South (7% as compared to 20%).
  • Households in the Inuit regions have the highest need for major repairs, with Nunavut at 28%. Major repairs include defective plumbing, electrical wiring and structure work.
  • 81% of the Nunavut population is Inuit and the population continues to grow faster than the Canadian average, placing pressure on an already serious housing situation.
  • As part of the development of the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada consulted Indigenous groups living on- and off-reserve and in the North in order to better understand the unique challenges. A “What We Heard” report was released on
  • In addition to the $97.7 million to address urgent housing needs, the Governments of Canada, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, through IAH, are also providing more than $31.7 million to improve access to affordable housing in the North.

Related products

For more information, the media may contact:

Sabrina Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Mathieu Filion
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Young Ong
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Stay connected

Follow us: Twitter (@GCIndigenous), Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

[related_post themes="flat" id="138405"]