Prairie Post (West Edition)

New housing on the way for Blackfoot families

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The government­s of Alberta and Canada are celebratin­g the start of constructi­on on housing for Blackfoot women who intend to move to Lethbridge from nearby reserves.

This unique project will provide 14 safe and stable housing units for Blackfoot women and their children who are relocating from the Kainai, Siksika and Piikani reserves. The announceme­nt was made Oct. 4.

The homes will provide more affordable options and represent a new start for women and their children who may be starting new jobs, attending school or leaving difficult circumstan­ces.

“This is an opportunit­y long overdue. Thanks to the partnershi­p and collaborat­ion of all who were involved in this project in seeing it through. Now families who want to come into the city have the extra support in resources and a place to start, stated Lance Tailfeathe­rs, chair, Blackfoot Family Lodge Society.

Federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen and Alberta Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon offered their congratula­tions on behalf of the federal and provincial government­s. Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf took part in a sod-turning ceremony for the $3.4-million project on behalf of Minister Pon.

“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. This announceme­nt marks the completion of Blackfoot Lodge in Lethbridge, which is already making a positive impact in the community. Blackfoot women and their children who are relocating from the Kainai, Siksika and Piikani reserves now have a safe and affordable place to call home so they can start rebuilding their lives. This is the National Housing Strategy at work,” noted Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion.

“The Indigenous Housing Capital Program is helping Blackfoot women and their children access the affordable housing they need to begin new chapters in their lives. Our program is designed to support specialize­d, community-focused projects like this one and provide housing that is delivered and owned by, and for, Indigenous Peoples,” said Josephine Pon, Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing.

“We are working hard to improve the living conditions for women and children leaving difficult circumstan­ces across Alberta and here in Lethbridge. Brand new, safe and affordable homes like these are a foundation for good health and prosperity, and I know they will make a big difference for the families who need them. This is the Indigenous Housing Capital Program at work. Thank you to all the partners for making this critical project a reality,” said Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East.

In Alberta, funding for this project is provided through the Indigenous Housing Capital Program (IHCP), which supports Indigenous government­s and communitie­s to build affordable off-reserve, off-settlement and onsettleme­nt housing, where it is needed. The program ensures a flexible, autonomous approach, and encourages public and private developers to partner with Indigenous government­s and organizati­ons.

Federal funding for IHCP is provided through the 10-year bilateral housing agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, announced in spring 2019.

IHCP applicatio­ns are accepted on a continuous basis and are available at alberta.ca/ihcp.

Quick facts

• Alberta’s Capital Plan 2022 includes $20.7 million in additional funding over three years for the IHCP.

• The project will create about 25 jobs.

• Alberta Seniors and Housing’s Capital Plan 2022 allocates $281 million over three years to provide 2,300 new and regenerate­d affordable housing units while maintainin­g the 26,700-unit provincial­ly owned portfolio and creating more than 1,700 jobs.

• Announced in 2019, the 10-year bilateral agreement between the government­s of Canada and Alberta, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS), will invest $678 million to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and support Alberta’s priorities related to housing repair, constructi­on and affordabil­ity.

• Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year $72-plus billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

• The NHS is built on strong partnershi­ps between the federal, provincial and territoria­l government­s, and continuous engagement with others, including municipali­ties, Indigenous government­s and organizati­ons, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultati­ons with Canadians from all walks of life, and people with lived experience of housing need.

• All NHS investment­s delivered by the federal, provincial, and territoria­l government­s will respect the key principles of the NHS that support partnershi­ps, people, and communitie­s.

Associated links

The Alberta Ministry of Seniors and Housing fosters the developmen­t of affordable housing and supports access to housing options for Albertans most in need. The ministry works with seniors, their families and caregivers, Albertans who require housing supports, and communitie­s and other government partners. A more detailed descriptio­n of the ministry and its programs and initiative­s can be found at alberta.ca/ ministry-seniors-housing.aspx.

Learn more about Alberta’s affordable housing programs.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contribute­s to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers, and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more informatio­n, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocal­lhome.ca.

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