People in social housing in Nunavik, Quebec could see a rent reduction up to 75 per cent if an interim agreement is ratified by the Quebec cabinet.
The agreement-in-principle is between the Makivik Corporation, the Kativik regional government and the Quebec government.
"Just under 70 per cent of Nunavik families earn less than $34,000 per year. The new rent scale will help this segment of the Inuit population the most," said Makivik president Jobie Tukkiapik in a press release.
According to the release, negotiations have been ongoing for four years, with the goal of achieving a fair rent scale for Nunavimmiut.
"For homes with large families, the rent scales will be set according to the household income. But those who are at a lower income will benefit the most," Jennifer Munick, the chairperson for the regional government, said in Inuktitut.
In comparison with other Quebecers, Nunavik residents spent a significantly higher percentage of their income on food and housing, according to a November 2016 report financed by the agreement partners and produced by the Université Laval.
Low-income families in Nunavik spent 70.3 per cent of their income on food and shelter, while Quebec City residents spent 41.3 per cent.
Retroactive rent reductions
If the agreement is ratified by Quebec cabinet, the release says it will apply retroactively to rent payments since July 1, 2016.
Tenants will have 120 days to confirm they are eligible and apply for the retroactive reductions with the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau.
The interim agreement is a step toward a new permanent rent scale based off a more detailed analysis of the 2016 report.
The aim is for July 1, 2020 as an implementation date for the permanent scale.