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Closing housing gap for urban Indigenous could cost $1.4 billion a year, PBO says

The Canadian Press
Closing housing gap for urban Indigenous could cost $1.4 billion a year, PBO says

OTTAWA — A new report by the parliamentary budget officer (PBO) says the federal government would have to spend about $1.4 billion more a year to close a housing gap facing urban Indigenous people.

That cost would be at the upper end of a range that starts at $159 million annually depending on what percentage of construction costs and rent subsidies the government wants to cover.

As is, the Liberals’ decade-long national housing strategy explicitly allocates $179 million per year to Indigenous housing in urban, rural and northern areas.

The PBO report estimates about 124,000 Indigenous households are in core housing need, meaning they live in units that either don’t meet their needs or stretch them financially.

The budget office’s calculation estimates the annual gap between what those households pay and the housing costs deemed affordable by a federal housing agency to be $636 million.

The federal Liberals have promised to create an urban Indigenous housing strategy, with details expected in this year’s federal budget.

 

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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