The K’asho Got’ı̨nę House Assessment Research Project deepens the understanding of housing conditions of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s Northern remote communities. This project takes research findings and puts them to practice. Not only does this improve the understanding of housing conditions, it also helps quantify the resources needed to make improvements to the housing stock.
3 Key Goals
This research is Indigenous-led and conducted in a culturally sensitive manner. It is being done from the perspective of Canadians who are in the greatest need of housing solutions and it reflects their priorities and needs.
Research findings are already being put to practice by helping prioritize repairs and the resources allocated to them.
Results from this project have already been useful in determining repair and maintenance priorities before the upcoming winter season. This will reduce callouts and improve the health and safety of the homes for residents.
Project scope and expected outcomes
The K’asho Got’ı̨nę House Assessment Research Project builds knowledge of Indigenous-led housing research. The impact of its results extend throughout the research team’s networks. Results have learnings that are applicable to Indigenous housing innovators across Canada, territorial and federal governments, and Northern housing researchers.
This project addresses the unique housing conditions of communities in the Northwest Territories:
- The population is largely Indigenous, lives off reserve and does not have a standard housing market.
- The region has a limited construction and repair season. This is due to long winters, only access is by air or winter road, lack of qualified labour, and cost and availability of materials, which has been exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northern housing research addresses local needs
The project’s research methodology and research team are innovative because:
- It’s Indigenous led, and was designed and conducted in a culturally sensitive approach.
- It addresses community-identified priorities through a strategic planning process.
- It fills an important housing data gap. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has been unable to gather similar data because potential participants have a distrust of government organizations.
This project aims to answer the following questions:
- What are the conditions of privately owned homes in Fort Good Hope?
- How would repair and maintenance affect the condition of these homes?
- What are the most impactful repair and maintenance actions to improve the condition of these homes?
The project had a sample size of 18 homes in its first phase. The research team invited participants through a self-registration process. Participation and results were confidential.
Based on the success the project’s first phase, the study was expanded to include another 12 homes in Fort Good Hope.
The repair program was piloted to assess house repair needs for the winter of 2020 to 2021.
Moving the needle on understanding Northern housing conditions and needs
For the first phase of the study, the research team assigned the following classification system to indicate housing conditions after they inspected the 18 homes in the study.
- Green (1) indicates good condition.
- Yellow (2) indicates repairs required.
- Red (3) indicates significant repairs requiring resources from outside Fort Good Hope to complete repairs.
The team completed further analysis to estimate the financial and human resources needed to address the identified repairs. With funding from the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation for emergency repair and maintenance work, 52 work orders were completed on 30 homes – the 18 homes initially identified plus the 12 new homes. These work orders fell into 4 major categories:
- frozen sewage (62%)
- heating system (17%)
- plumbing (13%)
- water pumps (8%)
Data shows that sewer system freeze ups made up more than half the repairs – 32 or 62% of the work orders. Upon further review, the team determined that this work was for 17 homes, with multiple incidents happening throughout the winter:
- 2 houses had 5 occurrences each
- 1 house had 4 occurrences
- 1 house had 3 occurrences
- 4 houses had 2 occurrences each
An analysis of the work found that:
- 80% of the labour hours were for jobs less than 3 hours each.
- The remaining 20% of the work orders ranged from half-day to multi-day jobs.
- Two work orders involved repairs that were more extensive. These include 1 furnace replacement and 1 major boiler repair. This work required expertise from outside Fort Good Hope and materials that cost over $10,000.
Research results will continue to be used to prioritize K’asho Got’ı̨nę’s repair and maintenance program. Results will also act as evidence to secure ongoing funding from partners such as the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.
Program: National Housing Strategy Housing Research Awards
Activity Stream: Gold Roof Award for Knowledge to Action
Title of the Research: K’asho Got’ı̨nę House Assessment Research Project
Lead Researcher: K’asho Got’ı̨nę Housing Society
Project Coordination: Wanda Grandejambe
Research Committee: PlanIt North Inc
Project Collaborators: Ne’Rahten Development Ltd, PlanIt North Inc, Ann Peters, Tom Ashley