Housing: Background Content

Indigenous Housing Reports

August 17, 2017

Fed. Govt.

First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy – August 2017

The AFN’s Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure (CCoHI) provides political and technical guidance with respect to AFN’s engagement with Canada on housing and infrastructure related issues, thereby supporting the identification and development of strategies to better pursue a new approach to housing and infrastructure.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is mandated pursuant to but not limited to resolutions, 70/2015, 74/2015, 96/2016, 98/2016 passed by the Chiefs-in-Assembly, to engage with the Federal Government on housing and infrastructure.At the recent 2017 AFN Annual General Assembly held in Regina, Saskatchewan, a resolution was passed by the Chiefs-in-Assembly that directed the AFN and Chiefs Committee on Housing and Infrastructure to jointly develop, with the federal government, a Terms of Reference for the establishment of a joint Working Group that will develop a First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy, which will include housing both on- and off-reserve.

This resolution further directs the AFN and the CCoHI to work in partnership with First Nations and the Government of Canada on the co-development of a strategic plan with short, medium and long-term objectives and outcomes, which will be implemented to contribute to the development of a National First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Strategy.

November 22, 2016

Fed. Govt.

Let’s Talk Housing, What We Heard

LET’S TALK HOUSING, What We HeardShaping Canada’s National Housing Strategy 2016

Indigenous Housing

Priority Issues

Specific Indigenous housing issues identified by participants during the NHS consultation process include:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities need greater control of their own housing. There are differences among, and distinct needs for, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
  • A nation to nation relationship is needed with the federal government regarding housing.
  • There is a lack of capacity (financial, human resources, expert knowledge) within many First Nations communities.
  • diverse range of issues to be addressed: affordability, accessibility, new units, maintaining and operating existing stock, building technologies and energy efficiency standards.
  • Poor housing has impacts on other socio-economic outcomes of Indigenous peoples, including health and education attainment levels.
  • There are gaps in the housing continuum in many communities, and availability of appropriate housing (e.g., multi- family housing, seniors housing, rental housing, social housing with wrap-around health and social services) is lacking, in particular on-reserve.
  • A lack of coordination and collaboration among different levels of government and among government departments (e.g., housing, health, and employment) has negatively impacted Indigenous peoples.
  • There is a lack of incentives and supports encouraging home ownership among Indigenous populations.
  • There are high rates of homelessness among Indigenous peoples living in urban centers, and many experience stereotyping, prejudice and racism when seeking affordable housing options.
  • The “on reserve” – “off reserve” perspective of Indigenous peoples’ housing challenges can undermine a more complete appreciation of the overall situation and put artificial boundaries on potential solutions.

The report also provides details on:

  • Desired Outcomes
  • Opportunities
  • Funding
  • Data and Research
  • Capacity Building
  • Impacts of legal agreements


November 22, 2017

Fed. Govt.

National Housing Strategy, 2017

The federal government announced Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy (NHS), a 10-year, $40 billion plan, to help reduce homelessness and improve the affordability, availability and quality of housing for Canadians in need.

Thanks to new investments announced in Budget 2019 and more than $13 billion announced through the Fall Economic Statement in 2020 and Budget 2021, Canada’s NHS is now a 10-year, $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

Indigenous and Northern Housing

Improving Housing Conditions (First Nation, Inuit & Métis Housing)

With funding from Budget 2016, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indigenous Services Canada, supported projects to build or renovate/retrofit over 18,000 homes in First Nations communities. (In 2019 that amounted to 750 new homes built and 450 Homes renovated).


  • $638 million under the NHS for Indigenous peoples living in urban, rural and Northern communities
  • $413 million through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, dedicated to address Indigenous homelessness predominantly in urban centres.
  • $261 million through an Indigenous Homelessness stream over a nine year period to maintain the community-based approach and to continue to address local priorities; and,
  • $152 million, over nine years to be invested in priorities determined in collaboration with Indigenous partners, phased in over three years. Of this amount, $10 million has been allocated for communities in the territories.
  • $225 million will ensure community housing providers can protect affordability for Indigenous families and undertake necessary repairs to their projects. This will help stabilize the existing community housing stock and ensure no units are lost while longer-term strategies are developed.
    • Of this, $200 million is delivered through new and more progressive bilateral agreements with provinces and territories and
    • $25 million is available through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund.\
  • Indigenous peoples and Northerners will benefit from an additional $300 million, delivered by the territories, to support new construction and repairs to existing affordable housing in Northern communities. Indigenous and northern households will also benefit from additional funding from provincial and territorial NHS initiatives, including the Canada Community Housing Initiatives, PT Priority Funding and the Canada Housing Benefit.

Through investments made in Budget 2017 and Budget 2018, the Government is providing $1.5 billion to support a First Nations-led housing Strategy, an Inuit-led housing plan, and the Métis Nation’s housing strategy including:

  • $600 million over 3 years to support new construction and repairs to First Nation housing units.
  • $400 million over 10 years to support new construction and repairs to housing units in Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit. This is in addition to the $240 million over 10 years announced in Budget 2017 to support housing in Nunavut.
  • $500 million over 10 years to support the housing needs of Métis Nation Governments and households.
    The Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy and Métis Nation Housing Strategy are in the implementation phase. Plans for the implementation of the First Nations Housing Strategy are currently under development.

First Nations Market Housing Fund

The $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund (FNMHF) promotes and supports the expansion of market-based housing in First Nations communities. The Fund is overseen by nine Trustees, including a chairperson. The trustees are responsible for overseeing the FNMHF’s governance and practices, and guiding its direction to achieve its objectives.

November 22, 2016

Fed. Govt.

National Housing Strategy: Let’s Talk Housing 2016

Northern Housing

Access to affordable, adequate and suitable housing in Canada’s northern and remote regions can be a challenge. In addition to dealing with extreme climate conditions, high living, construction and transportation costs, and limited transportation infrastructure, many individuals face uncertain economic futures. Low employment rates, sparse populations, and limited capacity for sustainable growth amplify the housing challenges that individuals and families face.

Many Canadians indicated that addressing northern housing challenges should be a priority. Over 31 per cent of northern and remote community respondents to the NHS online survey said that addressing housing affordability issues was the most important outcome to them. Forty-two per cent said that addressing the needs of low income groups and those individuals with distinct housing needs was a top priority housing issue, followed by the need to address social housing renewal in northern and remote communities.

Priority Issues

A number of major issues specifically affecting individuals living in northern locations were identified, including:

  • Social housing is particularly prevalent in the territories and, as federal funding under social housing agreements mature, sustainability of the territorial social housing stock is at risk. Social housing stock in the territories is also becoming aged. Many projects in the north are located in regions with weak housing markets, and may be even more likely to face future financial challenges.
  • The territories experience significantly higher construction costs, for both new construction and renovations due to remote location, shorter construction seasons, transportation, materials and labor costs, and utility costs.
  • Communities in the north have gaps in the housing continuum, including market housing options on the one end and supportive housing options (e.g., emergency shelters, transitional housing and supports for distinct needs) at the other.
  • The census-based measure of core housing need does not necessarily capture the full reality of this type of unmet housing need in the north, and high rates of subsidization may skew results.
  • Need to identify sustainable building solutions and addressing poor construction practices (e.g., the use of inappropriate building materials, lack of insulation, poor building design and structures).
  • Many individuals who need supportive services (e.g., seniors, those experiencing mental illness, etc.) are forced to live in social housing units independently because there is a lack of supportive services and thus may be living in in unsafe or inappropriate housing.
  • Indigenous peoples, who make up about half the population in the north, are much more likely to be in core housing need and often experience poorer health and well-being outcomes related to overcrowded and inadequate housing.
  • Homelessness in the North is experienced in terms of overcrowding more than often than in the South.

The report also provides details on: