First Nations Housing: Too little money for too much need in B.C.

New BC government funding will likely fall short

So the B.C. provincial government is committing $550 million over 10 years for social housing on and off reserve.

All this just in time for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

The province’s stated goal is to build 1,750 units of social housing over the next decade.

According to the province, the initiative marks the first time a provincial government has invested in housing on reserve, which the federal government has jurisdiction over.

Queue in my slow clap.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade here. Having helped report on a series of stories I’m well aware of how much this is needed. But we shouldn’t pop the champagne corks just yet.

A little bit of math is in order first.

B.C.’s $550 million over 10 years equals $50 million per year.

1, 750 units over 10 years equals 175 units per year.

There are 198 First Nations in B.C.

Divide that by 175 social housing units per year and you get 0.88 units per First Nation per year, not including an as yet to be determined number of off-reserve units.

What you have is basically not enough to go around.

Oh yeah, happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.



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