The quality of housing in First Nations communities is critical to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Peoples. However, in Canada, only about half of on-reserve Aboriginal homes are deemed “adequate.” This is due to factors such as overcrowding, poor states of repair and lack of affordability.
Overcrowding causes many social problems. For example, children living in overcrowded houses have lower-than-average school achievement rates and are more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. In addition, overcrowding can cause mould which has a negative impact on health. In addition, in some remote communities, house fires are common because occupants burn wood as a primary heat source.
While there are positive developments, the quality of on-reserve housing has yet to improve significantly. This is in part due to a number of constraints, such as limited budgets and a lack of adequate training for housing staff. However, there are some ways that the problem can be addressed and a number of initiatives have been introduced to address these concerns.
This evaluation explores the effectiveness of the Government of Canada’s approach to housing on-reserve, and its implications for a number of related programming, including Ministerial Loan Guarantees and the Shelter Allowance component of Income Assistance. It also examines the implications of a proposal-based approach to supporting housing. It also looks at opportunities to increase private sector investment in Aboriginal housing. reserve residences