NationTalk: The federal government is investing nearly $19 million through the third phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative’s (RHI) Project Stream to help build more than 50 new homes for Indigenous Peoples across the Northwest Territories.
The announcement was made by Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories — on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities — alongside the Honourable Lucy Kuptana, Minister Responsible for Housing Northwest Territories and Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty of Tłı̨chǫ Nation.
The funding will bring new homes to communities across the Northwest Territories, including Tłı̨chǫ communities of Wekweètì, Gamètì, Whatì, and Behchokò, Acho Dene Koe First Nation in Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte Dene Band, and Pehdzeh Ki First Nation.
This is made possible by the federal government’s additional investment of $1.5 billion through RHI, bringing the program’s total to $4 billion to support those most in need across the country. The additional funding for the third round of RHI is divided into two streams: $1 billion through the Projects Stream and $500 million towards the Cities Stream. This additional investment will quickly create more new units of permanent affordable housing across the country for those in severe housing need, or those experiencing, or at imminent risk of homelessness.
Exceeding its initial target, this round is expected to help build over 5,200 new homes in Canada. The total number of homes that will be created with the support of RHI is over 15,500.
The funding breakdown provided for these projects is as follows:
- $4.2 million RHI funding for 26 new homes across five projects in Tłı̨chǫ communities of Wekweètì, Gamètì, Whatì, and Behchokò, and $2.8 million from Tłı̨chǫ Government;
- $1.8 million RHI funding to Acho Dene Koe First Nation for five homes in Fort Liard and a shared total of $870,000 from Acho Dene Koe First Nation and its economic development corporation ADK Holdings Ltd;
- $3.3 million RHI funding for up to 10 homes in Lutselke Dene First Nation and $2.2 million from Lutselke Dene First Nation;
- $5.5 million RHI funding for seven homes in Nahanni Butte Dene Band, $500,000 from Housing NWT and $890,000 from Nahanni Butte Dene Band;
- $3.9 million RHI funding for six homes in Pehdzéh Kı̨́ First Nation, $454,999 from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and $511,025 from Pehdzeh Ki First Nation.
“No relationship is more important to Canada and our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. That is why our government is partnering with First Nations across the Northwest Territories to rapidly create over 50 new homes for people who are at risk of homelessness. This investment will go a long way in providing new affordable housing units, while addressing the unique barriers faced by First Nations communities in the territory.”
— Michael V. McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“In my time as Minister of Northern Affairs, I have had the opportunity to speak with people on the ground and see with my own eyes the challenges of building in the Northwest Territories. I recognize how crucial it is that our government work with partners to close the housing and infrastructure gaps and ensure no Northern or Indigenous community is left behind. The investments being announced today, combined with other federal investments in Northern and Indigenous housing, are aligned with the commitments outlined in the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and build more prosperous Northern and Indigenous communities.”
— The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs
“Meeting the housing needs in the Northwest Territories is bigger than any single government or organization, we must work in partnership with Indigenous governments, the Government of Canada, community governments, and other stakeholders to increase the number of affordable units across the North. I look forward to seeing the results of a continued partnership with the Government of Canada as we work together to address the territory’s housing crisis”
— The Honourable Lucy Kuptana, Minister Responsible for Housing Northwest Territories
“Today’s announcement allows us to continue our work to create quality, affordable housing that is essential to the building of strong and healthy Tłı̨chǫ families and communities. Tłı̨chǫ Government has taken a proactive approach to identify and create long-term housing solutions that will support our people in maintaining their mental and physical health, while instilling community and cultural pride”
— Jackson Lafferty, Grand Chief, Tłı̨chǫ Nation
“Mahsi cho to the Government of Canada for the opportunity for new units to house our members. These are long overdue in our community. They will create growth and reduce homelessness in the community.”
— Chief Lloyd Moses, Pehdzeh Ki First Nation
“This 7-unit residential project will contribute significantly to address overcrowding issues in the community and find homes for women, youth and families. Nahanni Butte doesn’t have an all-weather road and it remains isolates for 2 months a year — resulting in logistics problems and high cost of living for the residents. Since 2021, we have tried our best to improve community infrastructure including getting new houses. This project is a result of the work we have done.”
— Chief Steve Vital, Nahanni Butte Dene Band
The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) is delivered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), under the National Housing Strategy (NHS). It provides funding to facilitate the rapid construction of new homes and the acquisition of existing buildings to rehabilitate or convert them to permanent affordable homes. With its third phase, launched in 2022, the federal government increased its investment of $1.5 billion through RHI, bringing the program’s total to $4 billion to support those most in need across the country. The additional funding for the third round of RHI is divided into two streams: $1 billion through the Projects Stream and $500 million towards the Cities Stream.
- It is expected that over 5,200 new homes will be created, of which almost half will be for women and one third will be for Indigenous Peoples. The total number of homes built with the support of RHI is expected to be over 15,500.
- The RHI takes a human rights-based approach to housing, serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other vulnerable people under the NHS, including women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, young adults, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people experiencing mental health and addiction issues, veterans, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, racialized groups, and recent immigrants or refugees.
Visit Canada.ca/housing for the most requested Government of Canada housing information.
CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Information on this news release:
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation