SOURCE: Aboriginal Housing Management Association

AHMA

SOURCE: Prince George Metis Housing Society

PG Metis

SOURCE: Canadian Centre for Community Renewal

CCCR

August 06, 2015 13:00 ET

Housing Affordability for Aboriginal Peoples Living Off-Reserve Prompts Society Innovation

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - August 06, 2015) - In a joint research effort, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Prince George Métis Housing Society, and the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal are pleased to announce they have released a new case study that offers an innovative approach to rent policy and the housing crunch facing Aboriginal peoples living off-reserve in British Columbia.

In the next 20 years, unaffordable housing will grow like a cancer for hundreds of thousands of Canada's lowest income citizens.

Based on current research, 334,000 low-income households will be driven into deeper insecurity and poverty every year.

"Why? Simply put, the mortgages backed by the Federal government 25-30 years ago are being paid off. Good news? Not really. Why? Because when the mortgage is paid off, the subsidy that keeps rents affordable to very low-income tenants also disappears. The overnight result is a classic cost-price squeeze. The rent does not pay the costs. The housing provider cannot pay the bills. The typical solution: increase the rent. The typical result: people are forced out of their homes. Little wonder the sector is pounding on the Federal doors to get the national government back into play...

"The new rental policy begins to restore much lower rents for several of the lowest income tenants, increases rent for those who can afford it, advances fairness and transparency, and improves PGMHS revenue." (Excerpt from Homegrown Measures To Improve Affordability, Fairness, And Sustainability).

Quotes:

"Aboriginal homelessness in Canada is not a new problem; however, it is an exciting time to be able to provide the research and innovative ideas to help provide a solution. The research we conducted provided some exciting and unexpected results to easily and quickly apply a more far-sighted and visionary contribution to an often near-sighted problem," says author and Director Michael Lewis for CCCR.

"We were happy to be the test case for such an innovative research project -- looking to the local community first to find an answer to a much larger social problem. Prince George Métis Housing Society always welcomes new and culturally appropriate ways to approach our community's needs and wants," says Executive Director Leo Hebert for PGMHS.

"We are pleased to see that a community-based solution to a local problem could be the answer that we have been waiting for in the Aboriginal Housing sector provincially and nationally. As housing expires off federal and provincial subsidies, we have a responsibility and unique opportunity to pick up the challenge and run with it to success, with our distinctly Aboriginal approach to housing," says Chief Executive Officer Ray Gerow for AHMA.

Backgrounder:

  • PGMHS provides safe, healthy, and affordable housing for Aboriginal people of all incomes, ages, and capabilities. PGMHS values reflect the traditional culture of its diverse Aboriginal ancestry. It honours its cultures by fostering the physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual elements of human life.
  • CCCR is committed to crafting solutions and adaptations to the critical challenges stemming from climate change and peak oil. Its priority is working with communities to increase their resilience, especially their capacity to equitably meet their needs for food, energy, finance, and shelter. Employing a wide range of organizing, planning and enterprise ownership formats, CCCR emphasizes strengthening the self-reliance of local and regional economies as a key task of transition.
  • AHMA is committed to the self-determination, management and delivery of affordable, quality housing to urban and rural Aboriginal people throughout BC. Under the B.C. Aboriginal Social Housing Management Agreement, administration of all Aboriginal social housing, programs, and services operated by over 40 Aboriginal Housing Providers across the province (4,200 units) has been transferred from BC Housing to AHMA. This Aboriginal self-management model for social housing is the first of its kind in Canada.

Learn More:

To read the full document, visit www.ahma-bc.org/pdf/Homegrown-Housing-Measures-Final-2.pdf.
To learn more about the organizations mentioned above, see the following websites:

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Rachel Humenny
    Communications Manager
    Aboriginal Housing Management Association
    604-921-2462
    communications@ahma-bc.org