Published on February 18th, 2024 by Brant Beacon

Check out this article featuring photos of OAHS staff members Sarah McBain and Sally Ledger regarding the need for housing in Brantford and the funding hurdles that many urban Indigenous housing organizations face

Brantford Native Housing (BNH), also known as Hotinohsioni Inc., is a non-profit charitable corporation with the main objective to provide safe, dignified and equitable housing, as well as programming options for the urban and rural Indigenous community within the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

The Indigenous-led agency currently operates a total of over 180 units of transitional, affordable and market-level units across Brantford, as well as second stage housing for women (with or without children) youth, men and families.

Despite its success of helping to move people from living on the streets and into transitional housing over the last 38 years, BNH understands that the community and its needs have been incrementally getting worse.

“Our PiT Count [Point-in-Time Count, which is the number of surveyed individuals experiencing homelessness at the current time] showed that in 2021, over 35 per cent of the unhoused population in Brantford, identified as Indigenous,” said Arguello. “In 2023, that number is now over 52 per cent and to put that in perspective, only five per cent of Brantford’s population identifies as Indigenous. We have a crisis happening in our community.”

Arguello said that BNH had hoped to continue to better service the community, specifically the women and children experiencing domestic violence.

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Photo: Alma Arguello, Executive Director for Brantford Native Housing, poses alongside Cathay Wagantall, MP for Yorkton-Melville and Sarah McBain, Communications Manager for Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services.