Inuvik councillors sign off on plan for new RCMP units

The N.W.T. Housing Corporation is one step closer to building new RCMP housing it has planned for Inuvik.

On Wednesday evening, council passed a resolution to allow the housing corporation to build three duplexes on four lots on Bompas Street.

The move marks a win for the housing corporation, which saw councillors reject its earlier plan to build duplexes on town property. 

Since then, housing officials have revised their plan and it appears ready to move forward. 

"Everybody's been very helpful in providing us the right guidance to get to a much better place," said Randy Cleveland, the corporation's manager of housing projects. 

Multiple town councillors praised Cleveland on listening to feedback that council and community members gave after the original plan was rejected in September.

Mackenzie Scott/CBC

The housing corporation originally had plans to build modular duplex homes on Carmichael Drive. But the territory needed permission from Inuvik councillors before it could start building. During a public meeting, residents packed council chambers to express their disapproval of having modular duplexes in that neighborhood, and encouraged RCMP and the housing corporation to spread the housing out across the community. 

It really excited me that they had listened. - Arlene Hansen, Resident of Inuvik

Town council ended up voting against a motion for the homes on Carmichael Drive, but approved the motion for the duplexes to be built on Bompas Street. 

"We appreciate the housing corporation … They went back and did their homework, and really did listen," said Grant Hood, the town's senior administrative officer.

Nanuk Place and Mackenzie Road also options

The housing corporation is also looking at putting up housing on Mackenzie Road and Nanuk Place, Cleveland said. There are currently vacant and boarded up properties on those lots, but Cleveland said discussions are being held with their owners.

Cleveland shared that there will be 17 units built, and they are looking at a few different types of housing. The current housing stock is between 40 to 50 years old and "at the end of their service life," he said. 

The town is happy with the end results, and what's to come, explained SAO Hood, calling it a win-win scenario. 

Resident Arlene Hansen applauded the presentation during the town council meeting. 

She has properties both on Carmichael Drive and Nanuk Place, and feels like this will allow the RCMP to be even better integrated into the community while also eliminating some eyesores in town.

"It really excited me that they had listened and they brought something totally different forward," she said. "It's good for Inuvik." 

Cleveland said the goal is to start construction on the building this summer. He hopes to have the project completed by the spring of 2021.