A timeline has been set for the construction of new housing – 12 units in all – for RCMP members in Hay River.
Randy Cleveland, manager of housing projects with the NWT Housing Corporation, told town council on Dec. 16 that – depending on finalization of a land sale with the town – construction would begin in the spring and occupancy would take place in April of 2021.
After hearing Cleveland’s presentation, council did approve the completion of the sale of four lots on Saskatoon Drive. Those four lots will be resurveyed and turned into three lots for three two-storey duplexes.
The six other residences will be single-unit, one-storey homes to be built on Mansell Place and Dessy Place.
“We’re anticipating about $5.5 million of new construction activity over these 12 units over the next 18 months,” said Cleveland.
The corporation is building the housing for the RCMP under a 20-year agreement, which is renewable after that time.
They will be market units and the RCMP will pay full rent.
More RCMP housing will also be built elsewhere in the NWT.
To make way for the new RCMP housing, six existing public housing units will be demolished at the end of Dessy Place and Mansell Place.
“That’s always been on the books to do that,” said Cleveland. “We’re constantly taking the bottom end off and replacing it with better units on the top. So there is no change in the number of public housing units as a result of this project.”
Of the six houses to be demolished, only two are currently occupied. The people in those two homes will be transferred to other residences.
The selection of the locations for new RCMP housing in Hay River has not been without some previous concern by members of town council.
Just over a year ago, council heard a presentation on the project in which all 12 units would have been on Saskatoon Drive.
“Although the duplex housing units were approved as a conditional use, having the RCMP concentrated in one place was not well received,” said Cleveland, noting the revised proposal will redistribute the 12 units on three different streets, fit into the neighbourhoods and be less identifiable as RCMP housing.
The housing corporation had previously placed deposits to buy three additional lots on Saskatoon Drive for RCMP housing, but it will not be proceeding with that purchase.
The balance owing on the four lots to be purchased on Saskatoon Drive is $123,000.