On-Reserve Housing Programs

Summary

Esquimalt Nation members may qualify for a number of grants and subsidies through either goverment programs or local administration.

Detailed Overview

The First Nation On-Reserve Housing Program helps provide more and better quality housing in First Nation communities in most of Canada. In British Columbia, support for better quality housing is provided through the Housing Subsidy program and the New Approach for Housing Support.

About the program

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides about $143 million per year to improve First Nations on-reserve housing. First Nations can use these funds to build and renovate houses, as well as contribute towards costs such as maintenance, insurance, debt servicing, and the planning and management of a housing portfolio.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Housing Subsidy Program in British Columbia  provides housing subsidies to assist First Nations with the construction and purchase of new housing, and for renovations that address structural and health and safety concerns.

ISC does not cover the full cost of housing. First Nation communities and their residents are also expected to secure funding from other sources for their housing needs, including shelter charges and private-sector loans.

British Columbia housing subsidies

In British Columbia region, the key to accessing housing subsidies for both short and long-term housing goals is planning. Housing is planned and delivered in a continuous cycle, where each phase is essential to the next. Funding support in British Columbia region is also available through the New Approach for Housing Support. Both programs are part of ISC's support for First Nations on-reserve housing, but not part of the national First Nations On-Reserve Housing Program which does not effectively support many of the smaller First Nations in British Columbia.

Housing subsidy amounts are based on the particular geographic and economic characteristics of a First Nation community. There are four different kinds of ISC subsidies available through the Housing Subsidy Program:

  1. New home construction or purchase subsidies provided for the construction or purchase of permanent homes located on-reserve.
  2. Renovation subsidies for renovations that extend the structural and/or mechanical life expectancy of the home by at least fifteen (15) years. The maximum allowable renovation subsidy is fifty per cent (50 per cent) of a new home subsidy
  3. Mould renovation subsidies assist First Nations with mold remediation which can be more complicated, and can be more costly than regular renovation. The maximum allowable subsidy for mould renovation is up to the full new home subsidy amount.
  4. Building inspection subsidies assist with building inspection costs incurred during construction, purchase or renovation

For more information about the suite of housing subsidies available under the program, consult A Practical Guide to Housing.


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