Published by the National Indigenous Housing Coalition Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2023
TERRITORY OF THE ANISHINAABE ALGONQUIN PEOPLE, OTTAWA, February 7, 2023 – In a press conference held today, the National Urban Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition, an organization representing Indigenous housing providers across the country, called on the federal government to commit $6 billion in the 2023 federal budget to meet its commitment to develop an Urban, Rural and Northern (URN) Indigenous Housing Strategy and create Canada’s first-ever National Indigenous Housing Centre.
The Coalition, formed in November 2022, is a response to the lack of specific and sufficient federal housing support for the 80+ per cent of Indigenous households living in urban, rural and northern areas without the support of their Nations or cultural community. It prioritizes housing as a human right and is unified by its goal to achieve a National URN Indigenous Housing Strategy that is fully Indigenous-led. The Coalition advocates for holistic, serviced-based community housing that empowers Indigenous communities.
In January 2023, the Coalition successfully took formalized steps to create a national organizational structure, the National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Incorporated (NICHI), which solidifies the Coalition’s commitment and determination for an Indigenous-led, Indigenous-designed and Indigenous-delivered organization to advocate for Indigenous housing solutions.
“We are in a housing and homelessness crisis, which is the by-product of the failures of successive governments to make significant and sustainable investments in Indigenous housing for 773,000 Indigenous households in Canada,” said Justin Marchand, CEO, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and NICHI board member. “For many families, accessing safe, affordable and culturally supportive housing is a constant barrier to healing, recognition, self-determination and progress along the path to reconciliation. Only an Indigenous-led approach can adequality deliver holistic, empowering, serviced-based community housing.”
“Investments in affordable housing must include funding for culturally relevant community resources, health services, and education to break the systemic cycle of housing insecurity that has left so many Indigenous families behind,” said Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) and NICHI board member. “Housing was mentioned over 200 times in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We know that stable, supportive housing is vital for the safety and well-being of Indigenous women and their children.”
NICHI is positioned to support the federal government’s commitment to develop a National URN Indigenous Housing Strategy and create Canada’s first-ever National Indigenous Housing Centre. The Coalition and NICHI will play a vital role in Canada’s housing landscape through the development of this strategy and the administration of grants, loans and supports to Indigenous housing providers and service agencies.
More information about NICHI and Indigenous housing is available here:
- NICHI Facts Sheet
- CHRA’s Indigenous Caucus – National Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing Coalition
View the full media release here
Watch the full press conference video here
Media inquiries: Jasmine Lagundzija, Crestview Strategy, email@example.com
Follow NICHI on Twitter! @NICHI_housing