One of the family housing rental units for NORTEP/NORPAC pictured in the winter of 2012. Photo courtesy @NortepNorpac, Facebook.

The bidding process is now open for 64 apartments in La Ronge that are owned by NORTEP’s board of governors.

The request for proposals, posted on the Town of La Ronge website, is yet another death knell for the northern teacher education program which officially loses all its provincial funding as of July 31. With Northlands College taking over funding in order to start delivering programming in the fall, the NORTEP board is selling off or donating its assets before dissolving entirely in coming months.

Acting NORTEP president Jennifer Malmsten is the last remaining employee working for the organization. On Monday she told MBC that as a not-for-profit, NORTEP has drawn up certain criteria directing where these apartments end up.

“They are for sale or for donation if the organization is a non-profit and a charity. In our bylaws it says that we must donate the assets to a non-profit organization or to a charity through Revenue Canada and if that’s not being done then we need to sell the apartments and whatever proceeds we get will go to the organization,” she said.

And things are moving quickly: the proposals are due by August 9, and a final decision will be made on August 11. At present, the plan is for La Ronge Housing Authority operate the apartments and do the bookwork for them until the sale or donation process is complete.

While there has been tension between NORTEP and Northlands during this transition process, Malmsten said there is a way for Northlands to bid on these apartments.

“Northlands can bid with another partner who is a non-profit or they can choose to create a housing corporation by September 30th. That option is in the proposal and they may or may not apply,” she said.

This is one of the last big projects for Malmsten, who is the final NORTEP employee working to tie up loose ends before NORTEP is terminated completely. Her current tasks include archiving remaining files, including student records and NORTEP’s historical documents.