Indigenous group seeks control of $300M housing fund
January 12, 2023
A new Indigenous group is seeking control of $300 million in federal government funds meant to deliver housing to First Nations across Canada.
The fund—announced in the 2022 Federal Budget, and allocated towards urban, remote, and northern Indigenous communities—is to be administered by Indigenous Services Canada with support from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The new group called the National Urban, Rural, Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition (NURNIHC) was formed to provide “for Indigenous, by Indigenous” housing solutions, according to a statement from one of its signatories the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA).
NURNIHC demanded an immediate re-orientation of federal government plans for its Indigenous Housing strategy and the release funds to both it and AHMA.
“The Aboriginal Housing Management Association already has an expert strategy that was created to provide safe, affordable, culturally supportive housing for Indigenous people living in urban environments. Adaptable in any province or territory, it’s based on the understanding that only Indigenous people can make decisions for themselves. No one else has the right to do so,” said AHMA CEO Margaret Pfoh.
According to the Budget statement, the $300 million is to be spent over five years—starting in 2022-23—through government agencies to support the building and renovation of thousands of homes for Indigenous persons.
The fund represents a fraction of the $4.3 billion in federal money targeted at Indigenous housing in the past year, including: