Canada's NDP


March 20th, 2024

Liberals have no plan to end housing gap for First Nations

Auditor General says Liberals have made no "meaningful improvement" to First Nation lives

Minister Hajdu,

The Auditor General report tabled earlier today regarding housing in First Nation communities confirmed what First Nations have been saying for decades. Your government is failing when it comes to ensuring First Nations live in safe, quality homes.

The Auditor General was abundantly clear. There has been “no meaningful improvement” in housing since your government was first elected in 2015. The findings of previous audits are still present in this report, showing how Indigenous Peoples continue to be marginalized. Your government has no plan to close the First Nations housing gap. The AFN estimates the gap is at $44 billion in a 2021 report, this number is likely much higher. With estimated population growth, it’s likely to be at least at $60 billion.

First Nations will not be surprised. First Nations have said for years the investments have not been enough. Indeed, you have spent less than 7 per cent of what is needed.

When we recently addressed the housing gap with you, you shifted the blame to First Nations. The Auditor General’s report paints a different picture - your department cannot even use the right numbers. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is relying on 2001 census data, effectively robbing First Nations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba over a quarter of a billion dollars they were entitled to.

This incompetence is marked throughout your government’s approach.

You gave up on using the mould strategy that was released in 2008. Officials were unable to explain why but it’s clear it’s not because the job was done.

And you are punishing First Nations with the greatest need. The Auditor General highlighted that communities with the poorest housing conditions received less targeted funding.

Instead of proposing cuts to Indigenous Services, will the government finally produce a plan so that First Nations don’t have to live in mouldy, overcrowded and inhumane conditions, or do the Liberals prefer to turn a blind eye?

We await your response.

Taimakalauq, Sincerely,

MP Lori Idlout MP Niki Ashton

NDP Critic for Indigenous Services NDP Deputy Critic for Indigenous Services