Alberta gov’t launches first Indigenous-owned housing program

(June 2018) – The Alberta government is launching the province’s first program to build affordable homes directly designed and owned by Indigenous governments and organizations.

“Our government is committed to the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” remarked Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations. “I am proud of this program that ensures Indigenous groups will design and deliver affordable housing to address critical housing needs in their communities.”

The $120-million Indigenous Housing Capital Program will increase the supply of affordable homes for Indigenous peoples across the province. The investment is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The funding is available to any Indigenous governments or organizations. Non-Indigenous proponents must formally partner with an Indigenous government or organization to apply for funding.

L-R: Loon River First Nation housing director David Thunder, Minister Feehan, Sagitawa Friendship Society executive director Tracy Zweifel, MLA Debbie Jabbour, Elder Dennis Whitford and Minister McCuaig-Boyd celebrate the $120-million Indigenous Housing Capital Program in Peace River today.

“The Métis Nation of Alberta welcomes the announcement of this much-needed funding,” stated Audrey Poitras, president of the Metis Nation of Alberta. “Affordable housing is a critical need for Métis Albertans and I looking forward to working with the Government of Alberta on implementing this initiative.”

 The Blackfoot Confederacy also supports a new Government of Alberta affordable housing initiative to increase the supply of off-reserve housing.

The program design reflects the key findings of a provincewide listening tour with Indigenous and Indigenous-serving organizations. Key findings from the tour include the following:

  • Families are the demographic most in need of affordable rental housing.
  • Units with three or more bedrooms are most needed.
  • Housing needs to be in safe, secure neighbourhoods, close to wraparound supports like schools and transit.
  • Culturally sensitive housing is required to accommodate multi-generational housing, with communal spaces for meetings and ceremonies, such as smudging.
  • Housing must be designed and delivered by Indigenous governments or organizations that are accountable to their communities and citizens.

Applications are now available at Successful applicants will be notified quarterly.

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