This month, the Centre’s newsletter pays tribute to National Indigenous Peoples Day, which occurs on June 21, the Summer Solstice. This year marks the 25th anniversary of its celebration in Canada. And June is also National Indigenous History Month. To mark the occasion, we would like to tip our hat to the Indigenous organizations that have entrusted us with their projects.
Faith-based organizations are often asset-rich but cash-poor. With a little help, however, they can take action to support the supply of affordable housing in their communities, and thus address issues such as loneliness and homelessness. This is the story of Co:Here Housing in Vancouver, born out of a partnership between Grandview Church and the Salsbury Community Society.
How do community housing organizations ensure survival, growth and anticipate the future? These are issues that Birch Housing, which has been in operation since 1975 in the Toronto area, has been thinking about. It inspired them to go undergo a process to better understand their situation and to reposition themselves with a mission, clearly defined vision, values and directions, with a view to ensure not only survival but growth.
For Indigenous populations, the concept of homelessness is much broader than the simple lack of shelter—it encompasses the alienation inherent in three centuries of being uprooted from their cultures and communities.
Cohousing could be a remedy for the social isolation experienced by many—young and old—and could reduce the human footprint on the planet. But this type of community is still uncommon in Canada and can take many years to develop. The non-profit Village Urbain is currently developing a cohousing project destined for the greater Montréal area, and aims to “professionalize” this unique form of community.
When it comes to housing, Indigenous realities are often ignored or misunderstood in the western culture, even in advocacy programs like Rent Smart, which aims to train and empower tenants. The Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary is reconciling the two worlds by adapting Rent Smart tenancy training to embrace Indigenous culture and values.
As announcements of federal Rapid Housing Initiative projects have made headlines almost daily since mid-March, and the housing needs have reached crisis proportions, the “not in my back yard” syndrome in communities where they’re to be implanted could have serious consequences.
The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association has set ambitious goals in its plans to address Indigenous housing needs. With one-in-four Indigenous persons in Ontario living in poverty, affordable housing is seen as an important way to reduce stressors faced by so many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, both on- and off-reserve.
Toronto physician Sandy Buchman, a palliative care specialist, will be drawing attention to the importance of social factors on health during a seminar at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association 2021 Congress. Because poverty, like discrimination or exclusion, has a major influence on people’s wellbeing.
Sectoral Impact Projects
Develop new services, models or tools to help the sector build and manage affordable housing
Sector Transformation Fund
Enhance the capacity of your local organization to provide affordable housing in a better way
Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund
Develop projects that aim to engage tenants/co-op members in housing decisions that affect them