The community of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., will soon have full control over care and maintenance of its housing.
The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is handing over authority for repairs and maintenance of private housing units in the community to the K’asho Got’ine Housing Society, an arm of the K’asho Got’ine First Nation.
Previously, when Fort Good Hope members living in housing units needed repairs or maintenance on their units, the N.W.T. Housing Corporation would put the work out to tender. Author Tobac, a leader with the K’asho Got’ine Housing Society, described that as part of a problem.
“Part of the problem was they had to tender out the work. That was the policy the N.W.T. Housing Corporation was working under,” Tobac said.
“Contractors needed more than one [tender] to make it worth their while to come into the community to service furnaces, boilers that kind of thing.”
Tobac says outside contractors would often wait until they had several repair jobs to make the trip to Fort Good Hope. That meant people often had to wait months for the work to get done.
Now, Tobac says, the housing society will have the authority to begin the work immediately. The money for repairs will still come from the Housing Corporation, and the society says it’s working to train more skilled workers in the community to do the work.
Tobac says that will cut down on the cost of repairs because workers won’t have to be flown in, and it will create employment opportunities for people in the community.
The Housing Corporation and the Housing Society were scheduled to sign the official agreement Thursday, but it’s been rescheduled because of a death in the community.
The official signing is now expected to happen in the new year.