Covid and population growth worsen housing problems in Nunavut: CMHC

Strong population growth and the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated the housing crisis in Nunavut, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Northern Housing Report 2021.

Affordability remains one of the most pressing concerns in the territory, particularly among young people and seniors, CMHC said.

The average monthly mortgage in Nunavut is $ 1,886, compared to $ 1,602 in Yellowknife and $ 1,539 in the Yukon.

The rental market in Iqaluit is also extremely tight with a vacancy rate of 0.7%. In Yellowknife, the vacancy rate is 3.6%. In Whitehorse, it’s 2.1%.

The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit in Iqaluit is $ 2,785. In Yellowknife, it’s $ 1,769. In Whitehorse, it’s $ 1,296.

Construction has been affected by the pandemic, resulting in labor issues and the cost of supplies skyrocketing.

“The shutdown of Canadian sawmills, as a preventative measure for Covid-19, has caused supply disruption and lumber price volatility,” the report says. “This, combined with the high land and labor costs in the North, has put downward pressure on the creation of new housing supply over the past year, further exacerbating the housing supply. persistent and housing affordability issues. “

The challenges of supply and affordability in the three territories are the reasons why the North “is a high priority” under Canada’s first National Housing Strategy and why “significant federal and territorial investments” Were made in housing in the 2021 budget, according to CMHC.

As of June 30, as part of the National Housing Strategy, the federal government had invested $ 331 million to help 2,962 households access safe and secure housing in Nunavut, $ 312 million to help 4,828 households in the Northwest Territories and $ 178 million to help 2,973 households in the Yukon. CMHC said.

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