Tenants’ association in the Northwest Territories to support tenants and protect housing – Community Housing Transformation Centre – Centre de transformation du logement communautaire

Tenants’ association in the Northwest Territories to support tenants and protect housing


Northwest Territories Tenant Association's Virtual Office and Hotline

Parent Organization

Keepers of The Circle


Northwest Territories


Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund (CBTIF)



The establishment of the Northwest Territories Tenants’ Association (TA-NWT) stemmed from the lack of any similar entity in the Territories, unlike other provinces in Canada. Its creation was a collaborative effort between Keepers of the Circle, Women’s National Housing Homelessness Network (WNHHN) and Lisa Thurber, founder and executive director of TA-NWT.

Initially, Keepers of the Circle facilitated the engagement of an expert to assess the needs of tenants, the public, women, and the unhoused in Yellowknife and surrounding communities. This was particularly significant given that Yellowknife is the capital city and is home to half the population.

The association was founded with a clear mission: address housing concerns and foster a just and equitable living environment across the region. Since its inception, TA-NWT conducted research on rent control policies, managed a critical Tenant Hotline, and actively engaged with tenants. According to Lisa Thurber, there is a significant demand. «There are at least fifty families that require adequate and affordable housing. One of these families has been in public housing paying market rent for over ten years… They paid 250,000 dollars and they live in inadequate housing» she said, describing the unfair housing situation. According to CMHC’s Northern Housing Report, the number of households occupying housing of inadequate size or quality increased between 2016 and 2021.

The Northwest Territories are home to 41 070 residents, as per Statistics Canada’s 2021 data, and represent a diverse landscape of 33 communities, each with its unique population dynamics and a staggering 11 official languages. Given this vast and varied landscape, the NWT Tenants Association Virtual Office and Hotline was launched to address the pressing needs from all corners of the Territories. They operate via phone calls, offering vital information and assistance on eviction prevention, landlord retaliation protection, maintenance requests and filing applications with the Rental Officer.

Supported by funding from the Centre, the association, through its virtual office and hotline, has gained considerable momentum in the NWT community. It aims to serve as a long-term resource hub, increasing access to information, promoting housing decisions, and building capacity.