Learn more about a project in Calgary that's helping Indigenous people find safe, secure, and affordable housing — a challenge they face more than most Canadians. The project, shaped by talks with Indigenous communities, is focused on making housing plans, programs and rules more in tune with Indigenous cultures. Notably, policymakers currently don't have accurate info about the housing available for Indigenous people and lack details on their cultural needs related to housing. See how this effort is making housing access more equitable for Indigenous communities.
3 Key Findings
Autonomy in housing is a vital factor in supporting Indigenous cultural values.
Effective policy changes are needed to establish culturally informed practices and support cultural safety.
Housing programs should support diverse cultural needs and address the barriers to housing experienced by Indigenous people, including eviction prevention.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Increasing equitable access to housing for Indigenous people
This project investigated the housing situation of Indigenous people in Calgary. The research found that successful housing models included having space for ceremonies, supporting visits from extended family, preventing evictions and integrating with the community. A survey of housing providers in Calgary also showed the need to focus on preventing evictions and making sure the community is connected.
In addition, discussions with people in focus groups showed that it's important for individuals to have a say in choosing their housing services. They also highlighted the need for more resources to prevent evictions. The research also showed that funding strategies should be flexible and consider the needs of local communities, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach for Indigenous communities across Canada.
The cultural perspectives of urban Indigenous people played a key role in shaping the design, programs and policies for housing. This included thinking about things like accessibility, safety, community, affordability, cultural identity and specific needs.
Based on these findings, it's clear that improving fair access to housing for Indigenous people means focusing on preventing evictions, integrating with the community and giving individuals the freedom to choose suitable housing services. It's also important to have funding strategies that can adapt to meet the specific needs and cultural perspectives of local Indigenous communities.
Improving Indigenous Housing in Calgary
The research team has recommended a plan to improve housing for urban Indigenous communities. This plan includes investing in transitional housing models that consider Indigenous cultural practices. These models will support and help Indigenous people who are moving from reserves to cities to prevent problems.
The team also suggested creating a specific "housing indicator" to measure and respond to local affordable and safe housing standards. This indicator will help keep track of changes in housing needs over time and make sure the right support is provided.
The research showed that it's important to support cultural security, which means respecting and including different cultural traditions in policies and practices. Cultural security recognizes that each culture has unique needs and it offers the appropriate support for Indigenous people.
This project has gained support and commitment towards a common goal of improving Indigenous housing in Calgary. The findings will be used to plan and fund housing programs at the provincial and national levels, making sure Indigenous peoples have fair access to housing that respects their needs and cultural perspectives.
Activity Stream: Research Project
Title of the Research: Identifying the foundations of Indigenous housing: Sharing cultural perspectives and solutions for Indigenous housing in Calgary
Lead Applicant: Elizabeth Fry Foundation
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness
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