Ottawa says it will spend $4.3 billion over seven years to help improve Indigenous housing.
Investing more this year in housing for Indigenous Peoples is a priority in the agreement the federal minority Liberal government struck with the New Democrats last month, as well as in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s re-election platform last year.
Expectations were high and the Assembly of First Nations alone had asked to see $44 billion in the budget to address current housing needs, which include issues around repairs and overcrowding.
The 2022 spending plan released today gives $4 billion, including $652 million this fiscal year, to Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs to speed up work on the issue, including $2.4 billion for on-reserve housing.
The budget also fulfils a Liberal campaign pledge to put $300 million over five years toward building an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy.
The government is also preparing to spend about $210 million more over five years on helping communities contend with the harmful past of residential schools, including searching for unmarked graves and making sure the federal government hands over related documents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022.