Right now, Canadians – from young families, to seniors, to newcomers – are finding it challenging to find a place to call home at a price they can afford, particularly in the North. By rapidly building more affordable homes, we can help drive down the cost of housing for people living in Northern and Indigenous communities.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined today by the Premier of the Northwest Territories, Caroline Cochrane, to announce the construction of 50 new affordable homes in an apartment building in downtown Yellowknife. This new low-rise, energy-efficient apartment building will be comprised of 25 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom units, and will support people who need it most, including Indigenous Peoples, seniors, women and children, people living with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness.
This project is supported by a federal investment of over $20 million under the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, and the Government of the Northwest Territories will also contribute financially. The City of Yellowknife provided the land. The project will not only help alleviate housing challenges in Yellowknife – it will also serve as a blueprint for energy-efficient construction that could be replicated across the region and the Northwest Territories.
The Government of Canada is making life more affordable for people – and housing is key to that work. Our plan to double the rate of housing construction over the next decade will help build the housing supply we need. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as Indigenous partners, to keep building more homes for Canadians, including affordable homes, as we make life more affordable for people.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Removing the barriers faced by Northern and Indigenous communities in Canada starts with closing the housing gap. With projects like this one, we’re giving families a safe place to build their future, and we will continue to help build more homes, faster for the people who need it most.”
“Today’s announcement is another example of how we’re working to improve housing affordability and tackle the unique housing challenges in the North. Through the Rapid Housing Initiative, we are quickly building new homes and increasing the supply of safe and affordable rentals in Yellowknife. These homes will bring much-needed relief to residents in this growing community.”
“Increasing the stock of affordable housing has been a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories over the last four years, and I’m thrilled to see this project proceed thanks to Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative. The construction of a 50-unit apartment building in Yellowknife’s downtown core is going to change many lives for the better, and I want to extend my gratitude to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Fraser for making affordable housing a priority.”
“The Government of the Northwest Territories is striving to address the well-being of Northwest Territories residents by providing fair access to quality housing supports. In order to achieve this, throughout my term as Minister I have focused on successful engagement and partnerships with our Federal, Municipal, and Indigenous partners and this is a great example of federal, territorial, and municipal governments working together to improve housing outcomes across the Northwest Territories.”
“Having adequate housing is a basic need for residents and can affect every aspect of daily life. The City of Yellowknife is grateful for this partnership which will bring 50 new safe and affordable units to support those who need it most. We have been making progress over the past three years to address the housing challenges Yellowknife faces, and these new affordable units show what happens when we work together to make positive change in our community. We look forward to future partnerships to continue to address these needs.”
“In Yellowknife and across the Northwest Territories, access to safe and affordable housing is the greatest concern for Northerners. Through today’s investment, the Government of Canada is demonstrating our continuing commitment to build the housing that Northern residents and families need.”
- The new low-rise, energy-efficient apartment building is expected to be completed in the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
- The average rent in Yellowknife is $1,806 per month, compared to the national average of $1,167 per month.
- Vacancy rates in Yellowknife are very low, which drives up the cost of housing. Yellowknife's rental vacancy rate has decreased from 3.6 per cent in 2021 to 2 per cent in 2022, compared to the national average of 3.1 per cent.
- The National Housing Strategy will invest more than $82 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home and has already committed to the creation and repair of over 400,000 units.
- The project announced today is funded through the Rapid Housing Initiative, a $4 billion fund to serve people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness and other vulnerable people, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, racialized groups, and recent immigrants or refugees.
- In total, the Rapid Housing Initiative is expected to support the creation of over 15,500 housing units.
- Since 2015, the Government of Canada has helped almost two million Canadians find a place to call home.