Housing advocates eye federal budget for aid to urban Indigenous providers

OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals have told stakeholders in the affordable-housing sector to look for funding in next week’s budget to help expand the stock of units for Indigenous people in urban centres.

Going back to the 2019 election, the Liberals have spoken about funding for urban Indigenous housing providers as the missing piece of the national housing strategy.

While those providers can apply for programs that make up the remainder of the $70-billion strategy, they have asked for specific funding to meet their unique needs.

Several sources in the housing sector who spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not made public, said government officials have strongly hinted to them that the budget will include measures to meet those requests.

Asked today about the budget, Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen would only say it would continue the government’s leadership role in housing across the country.

There are also high expectations that the April 19 budget will reboot a rapid-housing program that created some 4,700 units of affordable housing and saw demand far outstrip the $1 billion made available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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