Bouchard, Francoise (2017) Putting health into housing “where we live matters.” Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, brief submitted to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services

Keywords: children and youthcrowdinghealthindoor air qualitymental healthNunaviktuberculosis

This policy brief presents data on the housing situation in Nunavik in relation to the health of Inuit. Poor housing conditions are identified as an indicator for a variety of health issues, especially for children (p. 4). Bouchard further asserts that inadequate housing is correlated to the higher rates of tuberculosis in Nunavik.

The text includes census data from 2009 that revealed 49% of Inuit in Nunavik lived in crowded dwellings (p. 2). Moreover, due to the high birthrate the North, 60% of children living in crowded homes (p. 3). The author asserts that crowding contributes to mental and physical ailments such as stress, depression, and respiratory diseases (p. 4).

Bouchard shows that tuberculosis rates are correlated with socioeconomic factors such as inadequate housing, calls for action on housing reform in Nunavik. She states that the higher than national average TB rates in Nunavik may result from crowding, which increases exposure to infected individuals, and from poor ventilation which facilitates mould growth (p. 5)   

The author proposes that “a separate housing unit for each family, but also a sufficient number of rooms and an interior volume in order to avoid overcrowding”(p. 4) is necessary to achieve  well-being and physical health for Inuit in Nunavik.