Findings from qualitative interviews with Indigenous housing providers highlighted some of the key challenges and positive outcomes they face in meeting the needs of Indigenous households.
The challenges include:
- Variations in application and program delivery requirements across municipal, provincial/territorial and national funding programs can be confusing.
- Competitive funding environments were identified as an impediment to organizational partnerships.
- Funding limitations restrict the ability to engage in strategic planning and make it difficult to provide sufficient employee compensation and minimize turnover.
- Not all provinces fund repairs and maintenance. Providers without reserve funds have experienced a loss of income when units in need of major repair sit vacant.
The positive outcomes include:
- Most interviewees that provided rent-geared-to-income housing also offered support services that help to create stability in a household.
- Providers often offer supports for tenants — such as educational programs and life-skills training — which they considered key to housing success.
- Positive partnerships are being developed with municipalities and local services/organizations to improve access to services for tenants.
- Interviewees identified some promising approaches undertaken by providers to meet the needs of Indigenous households in urban, rural and northern areas.
Findings from the quantitative survey provided information about the organizational structure of Indigenous housing providers, the units they provide and the tenants they support.
Most of the responding Indigenous housing providers were non-profit organizations that primarily managed their own properties. Most dealt only with Indigenous clients and indicated a large majority of their clients were families.
Implications for the housing industry
The findings have several implications for the housing sector and reinforce key themes that have emerged across CMHC-supported research on Indigenous housing.
- Pairing housing and culturally appropriate, wrap-around support services can help build stability for households. For example, supports for people healing from intergenerational trauma and marginalization may be offered.
- Addressing obstacles to accessing housing funding programs would benefit Indigenous housing providers by reducing administrative burdens.
- Improving data on Indigenous housing is necessary to meet the needs of Indigenous households. This includes consistent asset management processes to better assess housing availability and housing gaps.
- Advancing co-development and Indigenous leadership in Indigenous housing funding programs. This is a key step towards ending the historical disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
For the detailed findings, download the full report (PDF).
About CMHC’s Indigenous Housing Research
CMHC supports research on priorities identified by Indigenous organizations and communities.
Where possible, this research is led by Indigenous organizations, advised by an Indigenous steering committee or conducted by an Indigenous consultant. It respects Indigenous ways of knowing and priorities that emerge as a result of an Indigenous research process.
CMHC embraces the principles that govern Indigenous data and research in Canada. These are also articulated by First Nation, Métis and Inuit governing bodies such as the First Nations principles of OCAP®.
Sign up to our Housing Research Newsletter to be notified when new insights and other reports are released.