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Lack of housing forces resident out to cabin
Lengthy wait list for affordable housing a problem, says man

Kira Curtis
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, April 14, 2011

INUVIK - John Roland packed his belongings into the back of his small pickup truck on March 28 and left Inuvik for his cabin about an hour north of town along the ice road.

NNSL photo/graphic

John Roland packs his belongings into his truck and prepares to move to his camp out on the Delta on March 28. A lack of affordable housing in Inuvik has forced him to quit his job and leave town. - Kira Curtis NNSL/photo

He didn’t want to leave but when Roland had to move out of his house and look for a new dwelling, he said the lack of affordable housing and a lengthy wait list forced him to quit his job and move out into the Delta.

“As of now, they claim they’re all booked in and they don’t have any emergency housing for a case like mine,” Roland said, “they’re booked right up for two or three months.”

Roland, the brother of Premier Floyd Roland, had been living in his brother’s house over the winter. The agreement with his brother was for Roland to move out this time of year but he didn’t know the exact date until February. When Roland went to the Inuvik Housing Authority to apply for a subsidized housing unit he was shocked to hear there was nothing immediately available and the wait list was months long.

“I had about a month notice,” Rolland explained, “I never thought of going directly to them then, so I went to them about two weeks before and I thought that was more than enough time.”

Roland said the department of Education, Culture and Employment subsidized him $900, but Roland said he didn't earn enough from his part time job at the hospital to cover the high cost of renting in Inuvik.

“It’s not enough, I would be starving,” he said. “I was forced to quit my job at the hospital, so I’m going out to a Delta camp, and I might be there ‘til after freeze-up, we’ll see.”

Roland said he wants to see a few units available for people in his situation because people don’t always know three months in advance when they will need a new place to live.

“There needs to be more housing and more availability in a case like mine, not such a long waiting list,”

he said.

Roland is hoping when he moves back to town he can get his job back but he is not sure when that will happen. For now, he will come back to town every week or so and keep checking for a new place to settle his things and carry on with life.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Officials with the Inuvik Housing Authority were unavailable at press time.

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