Safe housing and reconciliation

Access to safe and adequate housing is critical to improving health and social outcomes and essential to advancing self-determination and reconciliation.

Perspectives and experiences

Wiikwemkoong housing project

The housing project at Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario provided full-time employment for more than 20 people from October 2016 to May 2017. The project provided community members with valuable hands-on learning experience for building safer, more environmentally friendly homes in their communities.

Our challenge

Housing on reserves is inadequate to meet existing and future needs and, as identified by the National Housing Council Working Group on Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing, there is a gap in housing approaches and outcomes in urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing which needs to be addressed.

While work underway has helped keep the housing gap from increasing, it does not fully address current needs. The Government of Canada continues to work with partners to close the gap.

Progress since 2016

  • $2.7 billion invested to build, renovate or retrofit homes in Indigenous communities.
  • Budget 2022 proposes to provide a further $4 billion over 7 years, starting in 2022 to 2023 to accelerate work in closing Indigenous housing gaps.
  • In total, $6.3 billion will be invested over 7 years towards improving and expanding Indigenous housing in Canada.

Housing projects

The Government of Canada is working with First Nations on housing-related projects across Canada. These projects currently benefit 608 communities serving 428,000 people.

Moving forward

To address these housing challenges, the Government of Canada is collaborating with Indigenous partners on long-term approaches to address current and future gaps.

The National First Nations Housing and Related Infrastructure Strategy was created by a Joint Working Group made up of representatives from the AFN, the Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure, Indigenous Services Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Infrastructure Canada. The plan outlines the path forward to increase the transition of care, control and management of housing to First Nations.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is working in partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Inuit land claims governments and organizations, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Employment and Social Development Canada to implement the co-developed Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy. The Strategy sets out important joint work to address Inuit housing needs and is premised on a self-determination approach whereby Inuit play a direct role in the delivery of housing in Inuit Nunangat.

CIRNAC is also working in partnership with the Métis Nation through the Canada-Métis Nation Housing Sub-Accord which outlines the design, delivery and administration of housing services undertaken by Governing Members of the Métis Nation, including the: purchase of new houses; repair of existing houses; and, provision of rent-supplements to families most in need.

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