As the topic of housing continues to arise in the legislative assembly, Housing Minister Patter Netser made another appeal to land-claims organization Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated on Friday.
“We have this Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, which belongs to the beneficiaries. Our people are in severe need, the beneficiaries, of whom we are responsible for. I would like to call out to NTI: help us. We need your help,” Netser said in response to questions from Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak-Lightstone.
Netser, who made a similar plea to NTI during the summer sitting of the legislative assembly, added that the Inuit organization has a “healthy surplus.”
NTI’s trust fund is approaching $2 billion in value.
Netser’s overture to the land claims organization drew a round of applause from some MLAs Friday and Arreak-Lightstone gave him credit as well.
“I applaud the minister for calling out to NTI to seek assistance in this matter, as I do believe that is an appropriate manner of addressing the housing shortage in the territory,” he said.
Arreak-Lightstone also advocated a pilot program in Iqaluit whereby the Nunavut Housing Corporation tests alternative construction methods, including pre-fabricated units similar to the method that the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation is using to build a new hotel in the territorial capital.
Netser replied that he’s “open to ideas” and “certainly I would look at other options.”