Atlantic First Nations Housing Needs Assessment Yields Grim Results

"With a large back-log of housing applications and a rapidly growing youth population, overcrowding conditions will only worsen."

The purpose of the Atlantic First Nations Housing Needs Assessment (AFNHNA) was to identify housing challenges and needs for First Nations communities in the Atlantic Region, and to more effectively account for the housing challenges in the region’s communities.

A survey completed in May captures a comprehensive snapshot of the condition of Atlantic First Nations housing. Key survey findings include:

  • The number of units needed for the Atlantic Region to alleviate the current backlog is 2,560.
  • Based on the average cost of construction ($167,094.55) the estimate cost to alleviate the backlog is $427,762,048.00.
  • Total reported units that require decontamination is 433 for mould, and 88 for radon.
  • From the communities surveyed, 759 units are over the age of 25, 210 units require infrastructure upgrades, and 53 units are currently condemned and occupied.

This housing shortage is being exacerbated by population growth. As a result, there are long waiting lists for housing in many First Nation communities, leaving many people to live in overcrowded houses.Of the communities surveyed, a total of 911 applications were received, however only a fraction of those units were built.

“This is a serious concern” said John Paul, Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress. “With a large back-log of housing applications and a rapidly growing youth population, overcrowding conditions will only worsen. First Nations people are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, which highlights the ever-growing demand for better housing on First Nation communities.”

32.2% of the on-reserve population in the Atlantic Provinces is under 20 years of age.

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    • Agreed. While you’re at it, make aboriginals pay taxes like everyone else. The two-tiered system is inherently racist and unequal from the ground up. Everyone else seems to understand the necessity in going where the opportunities are. If they want to live in places with no viable economy, fine, but the rest of everyone paying taxes shouldn’t be on the hook for propping them up. Time and again it has been proven that most of that free money ends up in the pockets of the chief and his or her friends anyway, to the detriment of the rest of the band.

  • If you’ve ever been to a reserve, maybe efforts should be focussed on distributing condoms and family planning education instead of forking out 450 million dollars of taxpayer dollars to build brand new housing that will only get trashed anyway.

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