Three New Transitional Housing Project for Vulnerable Inuit Women and Children

Press Release

Nov 22, 2022

IQALUIT, NU – Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion was joined by the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Margaret Nakashuk, Minister of Family Services, Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, and Levi Barnabas, Acting President, Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Sherri Robertson, Executive Director, YWCA-Agvik Society, to announce a federal contribution of over $2.7 million for the conversion of three existing properties into new transitional housing buildings for vulnerable Inuit women and children in Iqaluit.

This investment by the Government of Canada was made possible by the National Housing Strategy’s (NHS) National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF) and seed funding. Additional contributions include $750,000 from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, $1.4 million from Qikiqtani Inuit Association, and $217,333 from YWCA-Agvik.

The three projects, Maittuq, Saimavik and Immilijuq House, will provide a total of 21 supportive and transitional housing units for Inuit women and their children, with up to 8 spaces designated for women or children living with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. These projects will serve at-risk individuals in the community and ensure that they do not have to relocate out of the territory to access much-needed support services. Nunavut Department of Family Services is providing operating funding.

Founded in 1986, YWCA-Agvik, formerly the Baffin Regional Agvik Society, began as a group of community-minded Inuit women who fed those in need and opened their homes to women fleeing violence in their community. Today, they run a 26-bed family violence shelter called Qimaavik, and a 12-bed homeless shelter, Sivummut, for women and children.


“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through the creation of these 21 supportive and transitional housing units, our government is once again demonstrating its commitment to ensuring that Nunavut’s vulnerable Inuit women and children have access to affordable homes that meet their needs. This is the National Housing Strategy at work in communities across Canada.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, no matter where they live. This is why our Government is proud to support the creation of these 21 new units which will provide Inuit women and their children with affordable and quality housing in Iqaluit.” – The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for CanNor

“Until Inuit women and children are properly housed and economically secure, their safety and well-being is always a concern. When safe housing is secured, it makes it possible for Inuit women to take steps toward wellness, personal growth, and self-reliance. Decreasing the risk factors in a child’s environment increases a child’s potential for development and educational attainment. In line with the vision of the Katujjiluta mandate, the Government of Nunavut is happy to see partnerships that bring about new housing options. It is our hope to see growing investments like these across all Nunavut communities.” – The Honourable Margaret Nakashuk, Minister of Family Services, Minister responsible for Homelessness and Minister responsible for Poverty Reduction

“With the deep understanding that none of us are immune to hardship, Inuit community members come together to address community needs. Inuit organizations’ investments in transitional homes is an important contribution to addressing a difficult and far too common reality. All Inuit need to feel safe and secure.” –  Aluki Kotierk, President, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc

“QIA is honoured to contribute to a project that gives support and services to vulnerable members in our community. The YWCA-Agvik is a great example of community members coming together to find a solution and addressing a community need.” – Levi Barnabas, Acting President, Qikiqtani Inuit Association

“The YWCA-Agvik Society extends deep gratitude to the CMHC and other funders that have made the acquisition of 3 new buildings possible in Iqaluit. These homes broaden our ability to offer safe spaces at affordable rents to women and their children who have limited options. Safe housing opens the door to other opportunities and a healthier future.” – Sherri Robertson, Executive Director YWCA-Agvik Society

Quick facts:

  • The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people living with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.

Related links:

  • As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs.
  • For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
    To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit:
  • Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada

For further information: Danièle Medlej, Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion,; Media Relations: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,


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