Improving the quality, supply and affordability of housing for Indigenous Peoples living in urban, rural and northern areas is a priority for the Government of Canada and an important commitment on the path toward reconciliation.
Today, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), on behalf of the Government of Canada and in collaboration with Indigenous partners, is launching public engagement on the co-development of an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. This Strategy is intended to complement the three existing distinctions-based housing strategies for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as other investments in Indigenous housing.
Ideas will be gathered through various Indigenous-led engagements, an online survey open for submissions until March 31st, 2023, as well as written submissions by email or mail. The online survey and written responses are meant to supplement the various Indigenous-led engagement activities and reach a wider audience.
The engagements will seek ideas from Indigenous housing and service providers, Indigenous governments and organizations, Indigenous Peoples living in urban, rural and northern areas, advocacy organizations, and provinces and territories. It will build on the important work and advocacy of Indigenous groups, non-profit associations, stakeholders, parliamentarians, and others to shape a housing strategy designed for, and by, Indigenous Peoples. These engagements will focus on the vision, objectives, guiding principles, barriers, key priorities, potential governance models and funding needs for a long-term Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. Engagements are expected to conclude in spring 2023 and a summary will be available in summer 2023. Ideas on how to improve access to programs under the National Housing Strategy are also being sought.
The National Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition, independently formed by Indigenous housing and service providers, will provide knowledge and expertise, as well as lead an engagement session. There will also be Indigenous-led engagements by National Indigenous Organizations, other Indigenous representative organizations including Indigenous women’s organizations, and modern treaty and self-governing nations. Indigenous-led engagement sessions will help bring forward opinions and input from groups that have not yet been engaged on an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
The co-development of the Strategy will be ongoing throughout the engagement process. CMHC will collaborate with partners to validate the findings and options from the engagement sessions and will support engagements in cooperation with Indigenous Services Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and Infrastructure Canada.
- For more information visit: CMHC.ca/IndigenousHousingStrategy.
- The Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion’s mandate letter outlines the commitment to work with Indigenous partners to co-develop an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy, a stand-alone companion to the National Housing Strategy, supported by dedicated investments.
- Budget 2022 committed $300 million to co-develop and launch an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy with Indigenous partners to address the housing needs of Indigenous Peoples living in urban, rural and northern areas.
- CMHC is providing funding to Indigenous organizations to support Indigenous-led engagement for the co-development of the Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
- The National Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition of Indigenous housing and service providers has independently formed and will provide leadership, expertise, and housing solutions for urban, rural, and northern Indigenous Peoples.
- There will also be Indigenous-led engagements by National Indigenous Organizations, other Indigenous representative organizations including Indigenous women’s organizations, and modern treaty and self-governing nations. These engagements are intended with select membership and affiliates, and we will highlight final reports from all Indigenous-led engagements.
- According to 2021 Census data, Indigenous households face higher rates of core housing need (12.9%) than non-Indigenous households (10.0%) and a disproportionate number of Indigenous individuals experience homelessness. Core housing need is defined as households living in homes that are considered unsuitable, inadequate or unaffordable.
- Although Indigenous Peoples represent 4.9% of the total population, they account for 30.9% of shelter users.
- Additionally, 7,000 individuals (0.5% of the Indigenous population) are considered homeless at a given point in time and 37,500 have experienced homelessness at some point over the course of a given year.
- Of all Indigenous households in core housing need, approximately 55% live in Canada’s largest cities.
- Indigenous households living in the North experience higher rates of core housing need for Yukon (18.7%), Northwest Territories (18.3%), Nunavut (40.0%) compared to all households in Canada at 10.1% (Census data 2021). Higher construction costs, shorter construction seasons, and a lack of skilled workers make developing housing in the North more challenging.
CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
For information on this release:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation