Press Release: New Interim Social Housing Rent Scale Adopted by Québec
Kuujjuaq, Québec, June 22, 2017 – The Interim Social Housing Rent Scale announced last month has been officially ratified by the Québec Cabinet of Ministers. The publishing of the new By-Law triggers an application period of 120 days for Nunavik Inuit to apply under the new rent scale for retroactive reduction, and potentially a refund from July 1, 2016.
“I’m very pleased this has been passed. This will provide significant relief to the most critically affected families, and I encourage Inuit to apply for reduced rent with the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau (KMHB) office,” 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. The change will free up much needed funds for food and clothing, which are basic necessities.”
For example, rent reductions for families with income of less than $33,415 annually will be significant.
• A family of four in a three-bedroom unit currently pays $270 per month. Under the new interim rent scale the rate will be $218 per month, a reduction of $52, or 19%.
• A family of five in a four-bedroom unit currently pays $316 per month. Under the new interim rent scale the rate will be $154 per month, a reduction of $162 or 51%.
• A family of 6 in a five-bedroom unit currently pays $410 per month. Under the new interim rent scale the rate will be $100 per month, a reduction of $310, or 76%.
The interim rent scale is effective immediately and is retroactive to July 1, 2016 meaning households may be reimbursed by applying to the KMHB. Negotiating parties agreed to continue working on a new long-term rent scale and an agreement is projected to be in place at the latest on July 1, 2020.
“After years of negotiations with Québec, we have reached a satisfying interim agreement and we remain committed to continue finding solutions to relieve the heavy financial burdens faced by families in Nunavik,” stated KRG Chairperson Jennifer Munick. “A more affordable housing clearly represents more opportunities for Nunavimmiut to build a better life and I strongly recommend tenants to contact the KMHB to file for the retroactive reduced rent.”
All tenants living in social housing units should contact their local KMHB agent to apply for a retroactive reduction, and potentially a refund.
The long-term 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 in co-operation with KRG, Makivik, and the government of Québec and showed that low-income families were spending more than 70% of household income on basic necessities such as food and shelter versus only 46% for residents of Quebec City – the southern location used for comparative purposes in the study.
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.