WINNIPEG, TREATY 1 TERRITORY – NDP MP Leah Gazan is calling for substantial investments into Indigenous housing needs in Winnipeg after a new PBO report released today noted Winnipeg as having the “highest number of Indigenous households in housing need” of all Canadian metropolitan cities.
“This government continues to massively and systemically underfund Indigenous housing. Housing is a human right. The federal government needs to honour this right and immediately make investments. Especially with extreme weather in Winnipeg, this is a life and death matter,” said Gazan.
Yves Giroux, Parliamentary Budget Officer, also highlighted this underfunding, “After accounting for the impact of current programs, there remains a $636 million annual gap between what Indigenous households in urban, rural and northern areas can afford to pay for adequate shelter, and the cost of obtaining it,” he said.
The report estimates 9000 Indigenous households in need of housing in Winnipeg, with Vancouver coming in second at 8000 households. According to the report, a mere 143 affordable housing units have been created in Manitoba since Canada’s National Housing Strategy was announced in 2017.
Gazan is also calling on the federal government to immediately release and implement an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy led by Indigenous peoples for the 80% of Indigenous peoples who live in urban, rural and northern communities, a promise the liberal government has been making for years without action.