Overcrowding, dilapidated housing and general unaffordability are issues faced daily by many of Canada’s Aboriginal families, especially those living on settlements and reserves, where it’s been suggested that 49% of existing housing is in need of repair, and an additional 85,000 housing units are required to address the current supply shortage.
Giving Aboriginal Families a 'Hand Up'
With the support of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), we launched our Aboriginal Housing Program in 2007 to better understand the distinct housing challenges faced by Aboriginal Canadians, while providing housing solutions for families in communities across Canada.
As the program has grown, the impact that the Habitat affordable homeownership model can have on families and the communities they live in has become increasingly evident, but so has the immense housing need that this portion of the Canadian population is faced by. So, we’re more determined than ever to build partnerships, and build homes, for Aboriginal families in need.
Support Healthy, Stable Housing for Aboriginal Families
Our success rides on partnership and collaboration. If your community would like to partner with Habitat's Aboriginal Housing Program, or your organization would like to support the program, please contact Jayshree Thakar, National Manager, Aboriginal Housing Program:
A Habitat-MCHC home currently being reconstructed for an Aboriginal family
In Urban Centers - When the Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC) determined they would have to sell a number of their rental houses in need of repair in order to generate funds to repair or rebuild others, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton proposed that MCHC instead provide the houses to Habitat Edmonton, for them to then renovate and sell back to low-income Aboriginal families though affordable no-interest Habitat mortgages.
Rather than decreasing the housing stock available to Aboriginal families, this solution offered these families with the long-term benefits and pride that come with homeownership.
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton and MCHC expect to complete five homes annually under this partnership, using families’ mortgage payments to cover the cost of the continued revitalization.
A render of the Takhini River 'First House', Habitat's first project on First Nations settlement land in Canada
In Aboriginal Communities - Aboriginal peoples have a deep spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection to their land, so building homes within Aboriginal communities must be undertaken with vast support from the community.
Working closely with the Champagne & Aishihik First Nations near Whitehorse, Habitat for Humanity Yukon is building three housing units for low-income Aboriginal families with construction expected to be completed next spring. A milestone project, these will be the first Habitat homes in Canada built on First Nations settlement land.
Read more about this project, called the Takhini River 'First House'.
Into the Future - Projects like these are happening, and increasingly, across Canada. But the key to our success is partnership and collaboration. If your community would like to partner with Habitat's Aboriginal Housing Program, or your organization would like to support the program, please contact Jayshree Thakar, National Manager, Aboriginal Housing Program, at (613) 748-2437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicating the First Habitat Home Within an Aboriginal Community
April 28, 2010 (Alderville, ON): The beat of traditional drums at the dedication ceremony drew tears from April Smoke - and enthusiastic applause from her five-year-old son, Josh. The home was the first ever to be built by Habitat in a First Nations community...