Four lots in the area of Spence Road could soon be transferred to Habitat for Humanity NWT for development purposes.
“The homes will have three or four bedrooms and are approximately 1,200-1,520 square feet,” reads a Feb. 16 e-mail from Habitat for Humanity NWT. “If these lots are granted to us, our plan is to work with the City of Yellowknife to develop these lots in the spring of 2022.”
The request met with a favourable response from some members of the Governance and Priorities Committee on Monday. If approved by council, the lots will allow the organization to “plan ahead,” according to David Hurley, president of Habitat for Humanity NWT.
The charitable group has had a development partnership with the city since Aug. 25, 2014 as part of a 10-year agreement, in which city council amended the Land Administration Bylaw to allow Habitat NWT to be provided “residential parcels of land at a nominal fee.”
The organization has since constructed three residences, with the municipality providing the land for $1.
To assist in development of the Spence Road lots, Habitat for Humanity NWT secured funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 2021 to build 10 homes in Yellowknife over the next five years.
“As part of this funding agreement, we will do two builds every year, of which five to 10 builds will be in the City of Yellowknife,” said Hurley. “In conjunction with that, we’ve also entered into a partnership with NWT Housing Corporation, which has committed funds to allow us to build.”
One of these homes was completed in 2021 on Spence Road, with the last home set to be built in 2026.
Hay River is one of the approved locations outside of the NWT capital. Dettah was the site for one unit last year.
Applications for the 2021-2022 Yellowknife homes have now closed, with more than 50 applications having been received. That’s more than double the last round, as only 20 families applied in 2020-2021.
Coun. Robin Williams was curious about how the selection process will work.
Hurley admitted it will be “complicated.”
“When the applications come in, the family services go through it, then there will be further interviews, background checks, etc,” said Hurley. “We do credit checks, it goes on and on.”
Coun. Steve Payne wanted to know what the homes will look like, whether they will be stick-built and if there will be blasting involved.
“We found it became a very costly process,” Hurley said in regards to stick-built.
Instead, the organization switched to modular units that are highly-rated and energy efficient, according to Hurley.
Following question period, councillors Shauna Morgan, Cynthia Mufandaedza and Julian Morse expressed their support for the transfer of the lots.
The issue is scheduled to arise at the March 28 city council meeting.