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Results: 1 - 15 of 1647
View Robert Morrissey Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Robert Morrissey Profile
2022-06-13 11:04
Welcome to meeting number 31 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format. I would anticipate that all those attending in person will follow the health procedures that are in place at this time.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would ask that all questions and interventions be directed through me, as chair. Those appearing virtually have the option of using the official language of their choice. If interpretation stops, please get my attention. We'll suspend until it is corrected.
I would also ask that members speak slowly for the benefit of the interpreters, so they can clearly capture what you're saying. As well, for those appearing virtually, you can select translation services by using the icon at the bottom of your screen. As well, use the “raise hand” feature to get my attention.
Before I begin to introduce the witnesses, I want to clarify for the benefit of the committee that at our last meeting we had an agreement that all witnesses would speak for four minutes and then we would go into a full round of questioning. Is that still the will of the committee?
I'm sensing unanimity, Madam Clerk. We have agreement. Because the committee adopted five minutes at our forming meeting, we had to deal with that. Thank you.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Thursday, February 3, 2022, the committee will resume its study of the housing accelerator fund. I would like to welcome our witnesses to begin our discussions. As indicated, they will each have four minutes of opening remarks, followed by questions.
From the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, we have Celeste Hayward. From Designable Environments Inc., we have Thea Kurdi, president. From Kanaka Bar Indian Band, we have Patrick Michell, chief.
In the room with us, we have Gary Gladstone from Reena, head of stakeholder relations. I understand he has to leave around 12:30.
Gary Gladstone
View Gary Gladstone Profile
Gary Gladstone
2022-06-13 11:07
Mr. Chair, that is no longer the case.
Celeste Hayward
View Celeste Hayward Profile
Celeste Hayward
2022-06-13 11:07
Good morning.
Thank you for having me here today. My name is Celeste Hayward and I'm from the Aboriginal Housing Management Association in British Columbia.
The Aboriginal Housing Management Association, which we call AHMA, has 25 years of expertise in advancing housing rights for indigenous people in urban, rural and northern communities. AHMA comprises about 55 indigenous housing and service providers located across British Columbia, off reserve. They manage 95% of all indigenous housing units located off reserve. We administer funds in partnership with B.C. Housing for 5,521 units for indigenous families, and we are in development with 2,133, so within one year we will have over 7,000 units.
The programs and services that AHMA members provide include affordable housing units, housing shelters, transition homes, supportive housing and assisted-living facilities, including complex care. Many of AHMA's members also offer support services that include homelessness prevention, parenting skills, mental health programs and substance use support. In terms of scale, AHMA members make up over one-third of indigenous housing providers in Canada.
AHMA works with members and providers to reclaim self-determination through culturally appropriate or culturally supported housing that honours indigenous traditions in meaningful ways. It's very important to connect to the sense of belonging and the way of knowing. This is critical for the 80% of the indigenous population who live in urban, rural and northern living situations without the financial or cultural support of their nation at times and who are heavily impacted by inequity, racism, colonial oppression and generational trauma.
By treating those in need as rights holders and experts on what is required for cultural safety, a dignified life and culturally supported housing, CMHC can uphold the human rights of urban indigenous families, which includes the right to housing.
As Canada's leading indigenous housing expert, AHMA welcomes the federal government's commitment to grow the affordable housing supply in Canada's largest cities every year through the $4-billion housing accelerator fund. When implementing the fund, it is critical that the unique needs of urban indigenous people are considered, including deeper commitments to cultural safety, culturally supported housing and supportive wraparound services.
In recognition of the ongoing injustices and Canada's violent treatment of indigenous people, AHMA calls on the federal government and the CMHC to ensure HAF, the housing accelerator fund, specifically addresses intersectionality affordability issues. As the CMHC has recognized, indigenous households and those led by women, especially single mothers, are most likely to be in core housing need. Racialized, 2SLGBTQAI+ and new migrant households, as well as people with disabilities, are also experiencing disproportionate rates of housing needs and homelessness.
We specifically call on the administrators of the housing accelerator fund to prioritize projects in partnership with indigenous organizations; to prioritize projects with clear objectives to address the core housing needs; to address the barriers AHMA members are reporting with high-cost development fees to begin building; to reconcile with indigenous people through the federal lands initiative by taking special consideration to allocate those properties back to the local indigenous communities where those properties are located; to ensure the accelerator fund helps to make it mandatory for municipalities to include urban indigenous housing needs in their housing plans and OCPs; and to balance the need for affordable housing with the need for culturally supported housing and the additional needs of indigenous people in Canada.
Only through meaningful engagement with AHMA and urban indigenous housing and service partners across Canada can the social, economic and indigenous rights of urban, rural and northern indigenous peoples in Canada be claimed and protected.
I don't think that's my full four minutes, but that's all I have to say so far. Thank you very much for the opportunity.
Thea Kurdi
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Thea Kurdi
2022-06-13 11:12
Thank you.
My name is Thea Kurdi. I am an affiliate member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, an IAAP-certified accessible built environment professional, a board member of the Universal Design Network of Canada and the president of Designable Environments, a 35-year-old business and one of Canada's oldest accessible built environment consulting firms. I am also a person with several invisible disabilities.
Many Canadians don't know that our current building code mostly exempts housing from accessibility requirements, and, sadly, what little there is, even in the latest version, does not create usable accessible homes. This violates our 2010 commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For decades, disabled Canadians of all kinds and their families have been left with an avoidable accessible housing crisis. It hurts our health care and social services. It's also discrimination, and discrimination against our largest minority group, the 22%-plus, or over seven million of us, currently living with disabilities.
How did this happen? Forty years ago, we did change our Canadian charter and human rights code to say that disabled people are equal citizens and that buildings and places shall not discriminate against them, but we failed to fix both design and construction education and the building code. Legislation, policy and standards were not aligned. This new housing accelerator fund can't make this mistake.
This also happened because of what too many non-disabled people—often the gatekeepers for access—think. They sometimes claim that accessibility is more work or special design. Access and accommodations can be explained as burdens or extras. Current designs have been cutting corners on human needs, so our designs are incomplete.
One hundred per cent of us benefit from accommodations, because disability isn't rare but part of being human. Every one of us are born with or get temporary, situational or long-term disabilities due to illness, accident or aging. Demographics are changing. Over 1,000 Canadians a day turn 65. Universal design is better for everyone.
This housing accelerator fund is an investment in our future, and no government money should ever again be spent on creating new barriers. Access to housing for disabled people of all kinds is not a gift, charity, bonus or extra. It's smarter, more responsible and sustainable design. This funding should require #InclusiveFromTheStart, as promoted last week in the 2022 National AccessAbility Week.
I recommend a full, 100% of all qualifying housing to be visitable and adaptable using well-known, decades-old, universal design CSA and CMHC guidelines. Every home should be created to be welcoming and affordable to adapt to unique accessibility needs. One hundred per cent also prevents isolation and supports mental health services, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable design goals.
One hundred per cent makes it easier to implement. We already have the technical details we need to rightsize and cost designs. Seventy per cent of those requirements cost nothing, like pick a different colour for something, install it at a different height or choose different door hardware, etc.
Elements that do cost something cost less to build in than to fix later. In fact, a 2018 WHO study showed that it's 22 times more expensive to fix inaccessible housing than to design inclusion from the start. One hundred per cent is fiscally responsible, especially as our disabled population is disproportionately poor and retired folks living on fixed incomes, as do many others.
Other benefits of funding 100% visitable and adaptable design include, first, helping create the accessible Canada that we talk about in the act. Second, it allows for aging in place. Third, people with disabilities are able to choose any available house they can afford and not have to wait for what small percentage is built for them. Fourth, it allows disabled kids—think at Halloween, for example—and adults to visit any neighbour, friend or family. Fifth, people who get new disabilities can stay living in the homes and neighbourhoods they love without expensive renovations for as long as they want or can.
Thank you very much.
Patrick Michell
View Patrick Michell Profile
Patrick Michell
2022-06-13 11:17
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My name is Chief Patrick Michell of the Kanaka Bar Indian Band. Located on Highway 1, Kanaka Bar is 14 kilometres south of Lytton, B.C., and two and a half hours north of Vancouver, B.C.
Kanaka Bar is considered rural-remote and has recently completed 10 new shelter units, started the construction of 24 new shelter units, and another eight new resilient units are in the final planning stages.
On May 27, 2022, Kanaka Bar hosted a live and virtual event, which we called “The Results Are In”, where Kanaka Bar introduced the Fraser Canyon region's owners and tenants of homes and businesses, municipal leaders, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District representatives, and first nations leadership and membership to five building envelopes that met Kanaka Bar's community resiliency housing criteria: affordability; resiliency to heat, fire, wind, rain, and cold; energy efficiency; and durability.
On May 27, Kanaka Bar also did a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the ground clearing and site servicing work for the four new duplexes to be located on our reserve lands. Once completed, these new duplexes will provide much-needed affordable housing for our region while also showcasing what the homes of tomorrow look like today.
A team of architects and engineers are now tasked with the production of sealed design drawings and costing. Once those are in, construction on the eight new shelter units can begin. One envelope, AAC, in addition to meeting Kanaka Bar's criteria above, can create new meaningful well-paying Canadian jobs in manufacturing, warehousing, storage and construction for both new builds and resiliency retrofitting with surplus AAC also available for the export market.
Kanaka Bar's goal is not a new, resilient and sustainable economy. That's a bit big for us. Kanaka simply wishes to build homes and retrofit our existing homes and businesses with supporting infrastructure that we can live, work, and play in; shelter in place during extreme weather events; and, after the event has passed, repair and restore the systems that give Kanaka Bar membership today and our future generations quality of life.
With regard to the housing accelerator fund, what Kanaka Bar is doing is both scalable and replicable anywhere in Canada, so Kanaka Bar's learnings can help Canadians anywhere, be they urban, rural, mountain, northern, coastal or prairie.
If one changes the current, entrenched and embedded protracted system of feasible, business case, planning, permitting, design, construction, and then operating to one that sees proven builds and systems replicated where they're wanted, Canada can complete the builds and give Canadians hope in these ever-darkening times. Delay otherwise equates to cost increases, and affordability may be lost.
Where do the builds occur? COVID-19 has certainly seen a transition from urban to rural. The Fraser Canyon region currently has Crown parcels, Indian reserve lands, municipal and regional fee-simple serviced properties, many not in use and most of which can be acquired quickly for very reasonable prices.
Kanaka Bar has acquired five fee simple lands in a very short time frame. Kanaka is currently in discussion with the owners of two more properties, and all the remaining owners in our region are aware that Kanaka Bar will speak to them about sale if their price point is assessed value. Kanaka simply will not a pay a premium for lands off reserve. We will not support speculation.
I'm not sure about ownership of either the land or house under the housing accelerator fund, which seems predicated on build and sale to Canadians. Kanaka's model is communal and inclusive housing, based on tenancy rather than ownership or lease, which creates both exclusions and inequity.
Kanaka Bar has established provincially incorporated companies and societies that help develop and manage housing off reserve. With awareness of affordable and resilient options and alternatives for new builds and renovations-retrofits, Canadians can also have a safe place to live for the next 100 years.
It is by working together to permit, design and then build safe, resilient and affordable housing that Canadians will be able to live through the growing frequency, duration and intensity of extreme weather events.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Gary Gladstone
View Gary Gladstone Profile
Gary Gladstone
2022-06-13 11:22
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair and honourable members.
Good morning. My name is Gary Gladstone and I'm the lead of stakeholder relations at Reena, as well as the convenor of the Intentional Community Consortium.
Reena, celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with diverse abilities, within a framework of Jewish culture and values. Open to all, Reena provides supportive housing, programming and employment services to over 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism, and those with mental health challenges.
The Intentional Community Consortium represents 26 agencies that are advocating for and building not-for-profit, deeply affordable housing for the most vulnerable in society—those with developmental disabilities.
On behalf of those we support, I extend a huge thank you to the Government of Canada for listening to our appeal when I last appeared before HUMA in February 2017, to ensure that funds were allocated to those with developmental disabilities in any housing funding. When the national housing strategy was released in 2017, it allocated funds for at least 2,400 units with supports. To date, over 700 units have been built and occupied. More must be done and all levels of government must be at the table, but thank you, HUMA.
Gladys is a middle-aged woman and Anthony is her adult son. Both have developmental disabilities and both had been on a housing waiting list in York Region for years. Both Gladys and Anthony lived separately in the shelter system, receiving community supports. They then moved together into an apartment. Due to their complex needs and a lack of understanding of suitable accommodations from their landlord and other tenants, they were about to be evicted.
As a result of the national housing strategy and with the support of Ontario, York Region and Vaughan, the Lou Fruitman Reena Residence, Reena's second intentional community residence, which will be home to 136 residents with diverse needs, opened in 2021. Gladys and Anthony now live there. Because all levels of government worked together to assist the most vulnerable, rather than being separated and experiencing homelessness, I am proud to report that they have been living there together with the right supports to thrive for the past number of months. More must be done—I'll repeat—with all levels government, so that there can be more success stories.
Housing is a key social determinant of health and well-being. Housing is a fundamental right for all persons, including those with developmental disabilities. One size does not fit all. There is a wide range of needs, which demand a wide range of options.
There are 100,000 Ontario adults who have an intellectual disability. An estimated 40%, or 40,000, have a concurrent mental health diagnosis. At least 16,000 individuals with developmental disabilities are awaiting housing support across Ontario. Their projected wait time is 40 years. At least 300 individuals are wrongfully placed in hospitals, shelters or long-term care facilities, referred to as an alternative level of care. About 18% to 30% of those in homeless shelters have developmental disabilities.
In order to expand housing for those with developmental disabilities, on behalf of those we support, I would ask the following. Number one, in order for a lower tier level of government to access funds from the housing accelerator fund, they must agree to allocate at least 10% of their housing funds to support this vulnerable community.
Number two, the largest impediment to building more units is the expense and scarcity of land. CMHC must modify their funding to permit not-for-profit agencies to use CMHC funds to purchase land for deeply affordable housing. In Ontario, those on ODSP can only spend a maximum of $497 per month on rent. The average, you know, is well over $1,000.
Number three, additional federally owned properties must be made available to build deeply affordable housing specifically for those with developmental disabilities.
A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members, said Mahatma Gandhi. Through the proposed housing accelerator fund, you can ensure that Canada takes care of those who cannot advocate for themselves.
Gladys and Anthony were homeless, in unsuitable housing and about to be evicted. Now, they are thriving in appropriate accommodations, because the national housing strategy ensured that there were funds targeted to this most vulnerable community. Now, with your support, we need to ensure that those with developmental disabilities are never left behind again and that 10% of funds are dedicated to assist them.
For further information on Reena, please check out the website at
Thank you very much for your time.
Sarah Silva
View Sarah Silva Profile
Sarah Silva
2022-06-13 11:27
Ha7lh skwáyel. My name is Sarah Silva. I'm a member of the Squamish Nation and I'm also the CEO of Hiy̓ám̓ Housing Society.
To give you a little bit about the Squamish Nation, we are located in British Columbia, in Vancouver and Squamish. Our traditional territory expands all the way to Whistler and Vancouver as well. Squamish Nation is the second-largest nation in B.C. We have approximately 4,000 members.
Half of our members live outside of our community. Most of the reserves in north Vancouver and in the Vancouver area are now overcrowded. Unfortunately, because of the housing crisis, many of our members are being forced to live outside of our community and more into rural areas. Of course, the cost of rent is causing all sorts of different issues within our community, being that they cannot live within the community or in the traditional territory. They don't have a lot of money left over to spend on things like hydro, education and food.
Our Squamish Nation council, approximately two years ago, set a bold initiative to bring all of our Squamish Nation members home within a generation. We define a generation at 25 years. Housing is our peoples' number one priority. As the cost of living continues to rise in our historical traditional territory, it's even more important than ever to bring our people home and have a range of different options within our community.
Hiy̓ám̓ Housing Society is a not-for-profit organization. We are responsible for building and managing affordable housing for our community. Currently we have three projects in the works. We have two projects that are funded under the CMHC rapid housing initiative. We also have one that's funded through B.C. Housing under the community housing fund. All of our current projects are very needed, but they all have culturally appropriate design and also supports.
Again, we have a lot of poor living conditions and overcrowded homes that are very present in our community. We have elders and families and young children living in condemned homes that unfortunately have such issues as mould. This is having a negative effect on our children's well-being, as the lack of affordable and culturally safe housing has had harmful outcomes on health and educational outcomes. Again, because of the high cost of rent, there isn't a lot of money left over for other essential needs, such as food and heat.
We also have a lot of our members living outside of the community facing undignified living conditions. A lot of landlords, unfortunately, are not treating them appropriately. They are facing a lot of different barriers outside of the community. There's a real drive for us to bring our community members home.
As this new fund is being created, we hope it's taken into consideration that each first nation has their own diverse needs. For the Squamish Nation, our desire is to bring our community members home. Our desire is to have them within culturally appropriate housing and to have them be able to go to our schools, practice culture and have that deep connection to our land, our territory and our families.
For us, we face our own barriers within our community. We are under the Indian Act. A variety of different barriers do exist under the Indian Act that a lot of other outside communities don't quite understand. What we are noticing with some of the CMHC funding that's coming out is that, a lot of the time, outside organizations or governments define affordability based on non-indigenous communities.
In our communities we've done a lot of work. We have our own governance structure. We have our internal processes. We're doing a lot of our own data collection on housing need and demand. What we're realizing after looking at our data is that, with a lot of the other governments, the programming of their level of affordability is really for the outside communities and doesn't reflect the needs and the income levels of our community. I hope the funding will be flexible and will allow for the first nations to define their levels of affordability.
Again, we have our own—
Sarah Silva
View Sarah Silva Profile
Sarah Silva
2022-06-13 11:32
Again, we hope the programming is flexible and that we can have more funding for culturally safe and appropriate housing design and supports so that we can help to heal within our communities and help to heal from the generations of trauma that we've had to go through with the residential schools.
Thank you.
Carolyn Whitzman
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Carolyn Whitzman
2022-06-13 11:33
Thanks for the opportunity to speak today.
My name is Carolyn Whitzman. I'm with the Women's National Housing and Homelessness Network.
We welcome the federal government's commitment to grow the annual housing supply in the country's largest cities every year, creating a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2026 through the $4-billion housing accelerator fund confirmed in April's federal budget.
We note that HAF is being administered by CMHC under the rubric of the 2017 national housing strategy. This strategy commits the federal government to work with other levels of government using a human rights-based approach to lift 530,000 households living in unaffordable, overcrowded or inadequate homes out of housing need by 2028—of the approximately 1.7 million households identified as living in housing need—and to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2030.
The National Housing Strategy Act, adopted in 2019, further stipulates that the Government of Canada commit to implementing housing as “a fundamental human right” through its policies, programs and budgetary decisions, including its spending power for housing programs in other jurisdictions.
As the CMHC has recognized, households led by women and gender-diverse people, especially single mothers, are the most likely to be in core housing need. Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ and new migrant households, as well as people with disabilities, also experience disproportionate rates of housing needs and homelessness.
Multiple evaluations have shown that the federal government's current housing programs will not adequately meet its targets of having a net number of tenant households in need or eliminating chronic homelessness. The average income for households in need is $23,000 a year, equating to a monthly maximum rent of $575 a month, yet the vast majority of loans and grants under the NHS are now being provided to private sector developers without human rights due diligence and almost no gender and intersectional analysis of outcomes. The result has been a proliferation of homes, the majority of which are unaffordable to average income earners, with a minority of so-called short-term affordable homes that fail to address housing need across the country.
The housing accelerator fund is an opportunity for the Government of Canada to reset. It can proactively put its commitment to the right to housing into action to address growing rates of housing needs by working with municipalities to transform systems. To this end, we offer the following recommendations.
First, design a housing accelerator fund using the act's human rights framework and a gender and intersectional approach, a GBA+ approach. That includes defining “affordable housing” as homes costing no more than 30% of gross household income and ensuring that those affordable units remain affordable in perpetuity. HAF should adopt the CMHC's definition of “affordable” housing, which is housing that costs no more than 30% of gross household income.
In addition, HAF should adhere to the CMHC's definition of “core housing need”, which includes housing that costs more than 30% of a household's before-tax income to pay the median rent, including utility costs, of alternative local market housing that meets standards for affordability, overcrowding and repair.
HAF should define “middle class” as moderate-income households, as well as allowing for housing subsidies for low-income households to flow into those new homes. Again, I think this ties into what a few of the previous deputants were saying. The housing accelerator fund is a reworking of the 1975 federal housing action plan, whose objective was to stimulate the residential construction industry to ensure an adequate supply of housing to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income households.
Current research—and I'm part of that research—shows that the majority of households in need have very low incomes: less than 20% of their area median household income, or low incomes at 20% to 50% of median income. A smaller number have moderate incomes of 50% to 80% of their area median household income.
As the CMHC has recognized, larger households led by women and gender-diverse people, and especially single-mother-led families, are most likely to be in housing need. That's particularly true for those who are indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+, newcomers or persons with disabilities.
That's why the national housing strategy committed to allocating 33% of funding investments towards diverse households led by women. HAF should prioritize scaling up moderate-income homes at target rents of $1,000 to $1,800 per month, depending on the size of the home and the local income. It should then target Canada housing benefits to subsidize those new homes for very low and low-income groups and monitor outcomes for NHS targets, as well as sub-targets for women and gender-diverse people.
Lifting adequately housed individuals and households can be done by stacking the rapid housing initiative; the co-investment fund; a reformed rental construction financial initiative; non-profit development; using government land, as a my colleague Mr. Gladstone said; doing as-of-right approvals for non-profit and affordable development, as the City of Victoria is doing now; prioritizing low-cost financing for low-cost homes; and large-scale development, including the use of modular and wood frame techniques.
I'll stop there. Thanks very much.
View Marc Dalton Profile
Thank you very much to all the witnesses for sharing your testimony. Being from British Columbia, it's nice to hear from the indigenous representatives here.
Our vice-chair, member of Parliament Stephanie Kusie, would have loved to be here, but her flight was cancelled. She was stranded and won't be here until tomorrow.
Ms. Silva with the Squamish Nation, I'll just commend your people for the vision that they have for their people. I'm wondering if you could share a little bit about how the rents and cost of housing are determined right now with the stock that you do have on the reserve. Is that a band decision? Help us understand that.
Also could you expand a bit more on how extra supports and extra housing come into play?
Sarah Silva
View Sarah Silva Profile
Sarah Silva
2022-06-13 11:41
Sure, I would be happy to.
The Squamish Nation only had one housing program for a really long time. That was the single-family homes funded through own-source revenue and through ISC funding. For the longest time, that was the only program. Those homes are essentially free. Nobody pays rent. Unfortunately, that's what caused a lot of the issues with housing in our community, such as the really long wait-list.
We also have lands in north Vancouver in different communities, but they're being built out, so there isn't a lot of room to build single-family homes anymore.
The Squamish Nation looked at different models of housing authorities and non-profits that were being developed by first nations throughout Canada and decided to go with the housing authority non-profit model. The idea was to start developing higher-density projects, like townhomes and mid-density and—hopefully, one day—high-density homes, and in more rural and urban settings.
Also, the idea was to separate housing governance from council. We would have a board of directors through our non-profit that would manage the strategic thinking but also the society's operations. Through that, we are able now to charge rent.
A lot of the time, the rents are defined by the program of housing and the funding we receive. CMHC or B.C. Housing will say that this is an affordable housing project and that we have to define it by, let's say, 30% less than market for north Vancouver or 30% less than market for Vancouver. However, those rates are in no way comparable to the income in our communities, even though we are obviously in one of the most expensive places. The affordability markers that CMHC uses are in no way affordable, so we have to look at other ways to subsidize those rents.
Then you have other rents such as the shelter rate and 30% of income. Those ones are defined by the programs; they aren't defined by us. It would be great for us to be able to define affordability, but under the current housing programs, we don't have the ability.
View Marc Dalton Profile
Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Chief Patrick, I visited your lands a few years ago when I was an MLA and toured the Innergex project and then had barbeque at the band office. I just appreciated the hospitality.
Could you give me an idea of what percentage of your people are on reserve as opposed to off reserve and what some of the housing needs are for those off reserve? What is happening there with those members?
Patrick Michell
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Patrick Michell
2022-06-13 11:44
Thank you.
The Kanaka Bar membership is 250 people. Of that, 40 live on reserve, but we have 90 people living here. We have inclusive housing, so if you want to live at Kanaka Bar and we have a vacancy, you're welcome to move here.
For the membership off reserve, obviously they were living in Lytton—and I say “were” because that is past tense at the moment. For the most part, many of Kanaka Bar's employable are in Kamloops and Chilliwack and are paying rent at market rent rates down in that area.
If you're looking at a percentage, about 20% of my residents are here, and then by October we'll be creating accommodation for another 180 people for those people who wish to move home.
View Marc Dalton Profile
Thank you very much.
Obviously, we're all very sorry about what's happened in Lytton, and it's frustrating how long this has been taking. I know that Brad Vis has been advocating.
I'll turn now to Ms. Celeste Hayward. The housing mix with the different projects that you have going is very impressive. How does that work? Do you have to be indigenous to rent one of the projects or is there a mix?
I personally am a member of Métis Nation B.C. I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about Métis Nation B.C. and any housing projects that they're involved in.
Celeste Hayward
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Celeste Hayward
2022-06-13 11:45
Thank you for the opportunity.
With the majority of the indigenous housing providers off reserve, there is no discrimination against the tenant. If there's space and a tenant meets the criteria—and the criteria don't include being indigenous—the space will be given.
The organizations themselves are indigenous run and have an indigenous board of directors and, of course, priority is given to the indigenous community, but we don't discriminate.
As far as MNBC goes, we're partnered with MNBC. We meet with them regularly, especially their minister of housing and the senior director there, and we actually do administer funds to a number of Métis organizations across British Columbia to ensure housing is equally part of the Métis solution for housing for Métis communities as well.
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