Press Release: New Interim Social Housing Rent Scale Reached with Quebec: Significant Relief for Low and Medium Income Households
Kuujjuaq, Québec, May 1, 2017 – Inuit leaders from Makivik Corporation (Makivik) and the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) have reached an agreement-in-principle with the Government of Québec, subject to ratification by Cabinet, on an interim social housing rent scale that will decrease rent for the vast majority of Nunavik Inuit living in social housing units.
“This will provide significant relief to the most critically affected families,” said Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik. “Just under 70% of Nunavik families earn less than $34,000 per year. The new rent scale will help this segment of the Inuit population the most where rents will be reduced from 20% to as much as 75%. The change will free up much needed funds for food and clothing and I encourage Inuit to apply for reduced rent with the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau (KMHB).”
“Throughout the difficult negotiations with Québec over the last four years, our goal was always to achieve a fair and equitable rent scale,” stated KRG Chairperson Jennifer Munick. “We have achieved some real progress through this interim agreement and will continue our negotiations with Québec to ensure that a permanent rent scale becomes an integral part of our efforts to relieve the heavy financial burdens faced by families in Nunavik.”
Once ratified, the interim rent scale will go into effect retroactive to July 1, 2016 and KMHB tenants will have 120 days from the date of ratification to apply for the retroactive rent reduction. In order to take full advantage of the new interim rent scale, social housing tenants who have not already done so will be invited to contact the KMHB to determine if they are eligible for a reduced rent.
Nunavik stakeholders are targeting July 1, 2020, for the implementation of a new permanent rent scale. The permanent rent scale will be based in part on more detailed analysis emerging from the Cost of Living in Nunavik Research Report released last November. The report was produced by Université Laval and financed by the KRG, Makivik, and the Government of Québec. It showed that low-income families in Nunavik were spending 70.3% of household income on food and shelter versus only 41.3% for residents of Quebec City.
Kativik Regional Government
Tel. 819-964-2961, ext. 2219
Communications Coordinator and Media Relations
The KRG is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978, under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in areas such as municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use planning, civil security and economic development.
Makivik is the Land Claims Organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik's role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.