Ernest Pokiak is a resident of Tuktoyaktuk

In 1984-85 the government introduced very attractive home ownership programs. In most part the programs were set for failure. Here is why. Community selection process was a large factor. Also the criteria for interested parties during the consultation process was not taken seriously.

Now 35 years later most units are old and in need of repairs and or renovations. Now there are programs one can tap into for repairs or up-grades. Here’s the thing. Some are unable to be accepted into the repair programs because of the income threshold. In communities where two incomes are less than average, when one stops work for any reason, the home owners become slaves to their homes.

Until such a time ALL people are treated equally I can foresee home ownership diminishing over time.

I hear MLA Jackson Lafferty mentioned a lot of boarded up housing units in his riding. Twenty plus years ago I counted 28 units boarded up in my home community of Tuktoyaktuk. This too will only get worse with home owners as time passes.

A large factor in my community is the lack of maintenance services. If one needs a yearly service, one has to bring in a contractor from Inuvik at great cost.

The key factor is government contract rates are so high it becomes near impossible to hire the services that may be required. Other than seeming to look like a private home owner receiving a government hand out, it would be fair to ask for some form of subsidy. After all government subsidizes their employees. (Northern allowance in Tuk $20,000 plus). NTPC has adjusted rates for communities up to 800 kw to attune to Yellowknife rates.

Personally I have never lived in a public unit and would like to remain independent BUT when one lives on fixed income that becomes much harder.

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