CONTENT WARNING: This edition of CRE Explains discusses colonialism and land displacement in the context of housing and homelessness. Please call Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 if you need support, or visit their website to chat online with a counselor.
In this country we call Canada, safe and affordable housing has been increasingly difficult to find, and this housing crisis disproportionately impacts Indigenous and BIPOC folks. This issue of CRE Explains explores how inadequate housing and homelessness are linked directly with colonialism, racism, and marginalization.
- The government has said that the current housing affordability crisis is caused mostly by a shortage of housing in general (low supply and high demand for housing), with most of the shortage being in Ontario and British Columbia. The CHMC released a report this summer stating that 5.8 million new homes would need to be built by 2030 to bring housing back to an affordable level
- Over the last year, rent in Canada has increased at an average of 11.1%, with the average 1-2 bedroom rental costing about $1960 per month
- The Government has received much criticism for their lack of support for Indigenous housing needs. Cliff Grant at the Aboriginal Housing Management Association points out that the National Housing Strategy doesn’t cover about 70% of Indigenous people, particularly those who live off-reserve
- Last year the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs began looking at the effects of the housing shortage on Indigenous peoples in Canada. During the summer, the committee released their third report, which acknowledges that Indigenous folks have been suffering “severe consequences for their health and well-being” as a result of the housing crisis and longstanding housing shortages within Indigenous communities
- ITK points to the lack of government funding for housing as a key reason for the ongoing housing shortage in Inuit Nunangat
- This 2022 article by Riley Yesno notes that the Assembly of First Nations requested a commitment of $44B over ten years for Indigenous housing, but only $6.3B was allotted – not nearly enough to actually meet the housing needs of Indigenous communities
- AFN has made multiple recommendations to improve housing outcomes for Indigenous peoples
- If UNDRIP is implemented meaningfully, safe and adequate housing should become more accessible to Indigenous folks