The Government of Canada recently announced a $638 million investment in creating, supporting, and maintaining safe and affordable housing for Indigenous peoples across the country.
"Improving and protecting Indigenous housing is a priority for our government,” says The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Children, Families and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “Safe and affordable housing gives people a sense of security and helps build strong communities. In a country that is as prosperous as Canada, there is no excuse for anyone to be left out on the street. As a government, we have a duty to act. That's what we've been doing since we took office and that's exactly what we're doing with today's announcement, because everyone deserves a place to call home."
Through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, $413 million will be invested over the course of nine years to support Indigenous peoples in urban areas in Canada. The program takes a community-based approach to solving homelessness challenges, so $261 million will go towards supporting local initiatives and priorities as determined by the community. The other $152 million will be invested in other projects and initiatives in collaboration with Indigenous partners.
"Everyone deserves access to a safe and affordable place to call home. Today, our government is announcing investments to reduce homelessness among Indigenous peoples living in urban centres,” says The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services. “We know there is much important work ahead to close housing and infrastructure gaps across the country, and we continue to work hand in hand with First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nation partners to implement distinctions-based housing strategies announced in Budget 2018."
The other $225 million will go towards preserving, improving, and building new housing. The Government release states that $200 million will support those already living in community housing, and $25 million will go towards new housing projects for Indigenous peoples.
This is all great news but we’re left wondering if it’s enough. Only $25 million of the funding will go towards new housing. We’re curious how many units can be built with that money. That said, there is the $152 million “that will be invested on priorities determined in collaboration with Indigenous partners,” so we suppose some these funds may go towards new housing if the communities decide that’s what’s needed.