Uquutaq Transitional Shelter provides a safe and supportive space for men experiencing homelessness. The project also has 11 units of rental housing, providing more housing options in Iqaluit.
3 Key Goals
Safe shelter and culturally appropriate supports dramatically improve the quality of life for men experiencing homelessness in Nunavut.
The project adds much-needed affordable rental housing in a Northern community.
The project gives a non-profit the ability and space to offer improved supports resulting in better outcomes for clients.
Project scope and expected outcomes
New project provides transitional housing for men experiencing homelessness in Nunavut
Uquutaq Society is a non-profit organization that provides critical services to people experiencing homelessness in Nunavut. The Society provides safe shelter and support programs and services to improve clients’ quality of life.
In October 2020, the Society opened Uquutaq Transitional Shelter. The 56-bed shelter provides a safe space for men experiencing homelessness to stabilize their lives with the help of on-site support services. The transitional support program is named Avataq, after the traditional hunting float made of sealskin.
The project also adds to Nunavut’s affordable rental housing stock and meets all of the National Housing Strategy’s priority areas:
- energy efficiency
- proximity to amenities and community supports
- collaboration with other governmental supports
- social inclusion
- supporting Northern communities
Northern community gets more shelter and transitional housing space – and rental housing
Two existing adjacent buildings – Building 1077 and Building 1079 – were revitalized and are now:
- a shelter and transitional housing facility with 30 shelter beds and 26 transitional beds
- an 11-unit affordable rental housing building
Building 1077 is the shelter and transitional housing building. The shelter provides support services to men accessing its 30 beds on the building’s main floor. The 2nd floor has a 26-bed transitional home for clients who can live more independently. When men using the shelter are ready, they can move on to the transitional housing.
The revitalized shelter space lets Uquutaq Society offer improved, longer-term supports for clients. Before the new shelter space was available at Building 1077, the Society leased a building that had 32 beds, but was serving up to 60 people every night. Some clients didn’t have access to a bed and slept on the floor, on couches or on chairs. The previous shelter had 2 bathrooms and 1 shower, while the new space has 4 showers on each floor.
The 30 shelter beds are provided to clients at no charge, while the 26 transitional beds are covered by territorial income assistance.
Building 1079 adds much-needed affordable housing to Nunavut’s housing stock. The building has:
- 11 rental units, of which 5 are rented at affordable rates
- programming space
The project is centrally located and within walking distance to:
- a grocery store
- a park
- a pharmacy
- a community centre
- schools and childcare
- health care facilities
A partnership between all levels of government
- CMHC provided $6.7 million through the National Housing Co-investment Fund – Revitalization Stream. $6.5 million was provided as a low-cost loan and $200,000 was a contribution.
- CMHC also provided $250 ,000 in Seed Funding during the early stages of the project. This was used to cover soft costs related to project development.
- The Government of Nunavut provided capital and operational funding.
- Nunavut Housing Corporation provided capital funding.
- The City of Iqaluit provided capital funding.
The project was built with accessibility in mind and meets National Housing Co-Investment Fund requirements.
The 1st floor of Building 1077 is completely accessible. Accessibility features include:
- a barrier-free entry with a ramp
- accessible washrooms, kitchen, common areas and programming space
- 7 out of the 60 beds are accessible
Building 1079 has:
- a barrier-free entry
- a fully accessible interior, including offices and training and counseling space
- wider doors and automatic openers
- washroom stalls, hand basins and hand dryers configured for wheelchair access
- accessible kitchens
- an accessible classroom and computer lab
The project reaches the Co-Investment Fund’s energy-efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements.
- Building 1077 achieves a 29% reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Building 1079 achieves a 44% reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Initiative Name: Uquutaq Transitional Shelter
Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut
National Housing Strategy Initiative:
- Uquutaq Society
- The Government of Nunavut
- Nunavut Housing Corporation
- The City of Iqaluit
National Housing Strategy Priority Areas:
- Men experiencing homelessness