The 2016 federal budget released last month included a substantial $2.3 billion allocation in response to Canada’s seemingly intractable home affordability issue, and part of this is a $177 million portion that would be released over two years to address what has been described by the CMHC as the “abysmal” housing situation of First Nations peoples.
In a speech to the Yukon and Whitehorse Chambers of Commerce on April 4, CMHC CEO Evan Siddall said that the funds would finally give the appropriate authorities the opportunity to resolve the sub-par housing conditions in Northern and First Nations communes.
“The state of the housing stock is abysmal. The fact it exists in a country like ours is something we should be ashamed of,” Siddall said, as quoted by CBC News
“For the first time in a long time, we are trying to signal that the unique needs of housing in the North need different programming. It's crowding, state-of-repair, and affordability,” he added.
Siddall noted that First Nations peoples will have input on how the needed developments would proceed.
“We want to listen and develop policy from what we hear. Some of our old programs are just out-dated, for the need,” he stated.
Of the $177 million, $76.7 million will go to Nunavut, while $12 million would be set aside for the Northwest Territories and $8 million for Yukon. For the remaining amount, Nunavik will get $50 million, while Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region will get $15 million apiece.
A total of $739 million has been allotted in the latest budget for First Nations, Northern, and Inuit housing.