VICTORIA – A $5-million federal and provincial investment in a newly funded Aboriginal Housing Initiative will help create affordable housing for Aboriginal households in need in British Columbia.

Through the Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are providing the combined investment of $5 million under the Aboriginal Housing Initiative to create affordable rental housing projects with a focus on Aboriginal clients across B.C. The Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) has also partnered with the Province to assist in the evaluation process and oversee the management and operations of the Aboriginal housing projects.

“The Government of Canada is dedicated to helping those in need access housing solutions in British Columbia,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for British Columbia on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “This new initiative will provide more than just safe and affordable places to live, it will be the key to a better life for Aboriginal people.”

“There are a disproportionate number of Aboriginal households in B.C. who are living in core housing need,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. “This $5-million investment will help create new affordable housing to meet this need and improve access to safe, affordable housing for Aboriginal people. We have also partnered with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association under this initiative to further support Aboriginal self-management.”

Details on how to apply for the Aboriginal Housing Initiative and request for proposals for the procurement of potential affordable rental housing projects is available at: www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca.

“The Aboriginal Housing Management Association has the specific purpose of supporting the management and development of culturally appropriate, quality affordable Aboriginal housing,” said Margaret Pfoh, president, board of directors for Aboriginal Housing Management Association. “We look forward to working closely with the Province through the Aboriginal Housing Initiative.”

The Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, signed in July 2011, confirms the remaining three years of B.C.’s five-year allocation of the Government of Canada’s 2008 commitment of more than $1.9 billion to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. This means a further $90 million in federal funding for British Columbians in housing need. With matching provincial contributions of $90 million, a total combined investment of $180 million helps to support affordable housing programs for B.C. residents.

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In British Columbia, this represents some 68,650 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.