Housing: Current Problems

Homelessness


March 31, 2020


Fed. Govt., ON

Laurentian University Research on Indigenous Homelessness

CBC – A team of researchers at Laurentian University is compiling research about homelessness among Indigenous people — with the hopes it could influence government policy decisions, and contribute to reconciliation. Last fall, the university hosted a conference, called Reclaiming Home, which focused on issues of homelessness, housing, and reconciliation.

“Just looking at the rates of homelessness among Indigenous people compared to non-Indigenous people, our research has shown that Indigenous people are at great risk, much greater risk of homelessness,” said Carol Kauppi, director of the Centre for Research in Social Justice Policy at Laurentian, and the person leading the research.
In 2018, Kauppi’s team conducted research in 15 communities in northeastern Ontario, compiling a database of approximately 3,500 people experiencing homelessness.

She said some of those factors include:

  • shortage of housing and overcrowding in some First Nations communities
  • migration from communities on the James Bay coast into urban centres, and
  • individuals being denied access to housing because of discrimination.

Laurentian University researchers will be publishing a book about homelessness and reconciliation in September, 2020. Kauppi said the final chapter of the book will outline policy implications of the research.


February 25, 2022


BC

Supreme Court rules against City of Prince George in homelessness case

The BC Assembly of First Nations – is pleased to welcome the recent verdict in Prince George (City) v. Johnny. Once again, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled against the City of Prince George’s attempts to dismantle an encampment, known as “Moccasin Flats,” located within a vacant lot in Prince George. After losing an initial court case in October 2021, which also sought to dismantle Moccasin Flats, the City tried a different legal route – but the result was the same.

Moreover, the most recent ruling affirmed that Prince George’s current shelter availability does not necessarily translate into actual shelter space accessible to encampment residents. The City’s multiple efforts to remove Moccasin Flats before working to address the root cause for such encampments have created additional strain on service providers and inflicted further trauma on unhoused individuals in Prince George, of whom at least 80% are Indigenous.

Additionally, the City’s partial demolition of Moccasin Flats in November 2021 was deemed to be in contravention of the October 2021 Stewart Order, which authorized the encampment to remain in place unless and until the City demonstrated available and accessible housing and daytime facilities. As Justice Coval noted, “this breach inflicted serious harm on vulnerable people.” Furthermore, the City attempted to evade responsibility for this Supreme Court violation by claiming that B.C. Housing had organized and executed the effort. However, the City’s own evidence from their Bylaw Manager stated that Bylaw personnel were involved 

“Targeting the unhoused is unethical, illegal, and ineffective,” continued Regional Chief Teegee. “Encampments are not a long-term solution; however, deliberately removing people’s shelters before providing acceptable housing options is simply cruel. If the City of Prince George is serious about addressing homelessness and advancing reconciliation, then they must drastically change their approach to this complex crisis.”


Other Current Problems By Theme


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Urban Indigenous Housing Srategy

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