The Aboriginal Housing Management Association is Skeptical Over Recent PBO Report on The National Housing Strategy

by ahnationtalk on July 22, 201947 Views

July 18, 2019

West Vancouver, BC – The Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), which is the umbrella organization for 42 Indigenous housing providers across the province, is calling the recent report on the National Housing Strategy (NHS) by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) an “eye opener” according to Chief Executive Officer Margaret Pfoh.

In a statement released on Thursday, Pfoh begins by pointing-out that the manner in which the NHS is being positioned in disingenuous. “The federal government would have you believe that this program represents increased funding, when in reality it’s money that is simply maintaining or slightly increasing the funding levels we’ve seen the past ten-years; so, all they’re doing is renewing a program that’s already in-place and is set to expire. What this country needs is for the federal government to not only renew existing programs, but substantially increase housing funding with new money.”

Adding insult to injury, Pfoh goes on to explain that “This report actually demonstrates a huge step backwards for those Indigenous People’s living in urban, rural and northern areas” who, according to Pfoh, make-up the majority of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. Pfoh goes on to say that “This report clearly states that the planned level of funding for federally administered community housing for Indigenous households not living on-reserve is less than half the level of the funding provided over the previous ten-years; dropping from $534 million-dollars down to just $257-million dollars – that’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Despite the frustrations of AHMA and its partner organizations, Pfoh is also the first to recognize that British Columbia is still better-off than other provinces. “We are extraordinarily lucky to have a provincial government that is dedicated to providing funding for the Indigenous housing sector. In-fact, this government is investing more money in to the Indigenous housing sector than their federal counterparts; and not only is that unprecedented, it makes us realize how lucky we are because the reality is that many other provinces rely exclusively on federal funding.”

As to whether or not there is any hope for real progress when it comes to affordable housing – be it Indigenous or otherwise – Pfoh concluded her comments by saying “The PBO report shows that the federal government is doing the equivalent of re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic. It doesn’t matter where you put them, the ship is going down. So as long as all they are doing is re-allocating the same amount of funding to different priorities, one community or another is always going to suffer, we don’t see how true progress can be made under this approach.”

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Media Inquiries:

Nizar Laarif, M.BA

Director, Public Affairs

Aboriginal Housing Management Association

Phone: 604 921 2462

Email: nlaarif@ahma-bc.org

NT5

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