Nishnawbe Aski Nation Housing Strategy
Across Nishnawbe Aski Nation it is understood that the ongoing shortage and inadequacy of housing is negatively impacting individual and community well-being. Existing assessments of housing are conducted using national-level indicators not relevant to the unique cultural needs and lived experience of Nishnawbe Aski Nation members. By not measuring appropriate indicators, proposed solutions do not address those issues, values and goals most critical to communities. In order to create meaningful change in the housing system— including design, governance, planning and the built environment— it is important that Nishnawbe Aski Nation and its member First Nations possess high-quality information as well as have the skills and capacity to guide their housing programs.
Shifting towards an occupant-focused, value-driven assessment of housing needs and solutions, The Nishnawbe Aski Nation Housing Strategy proposes a path forward for creating community self-determination in housing systems. High-quality data, rooted in local priorities will allow for communities, Tribal Councils and Nishnawbe Aski Nation to better determine the needs of its members. Understanding localized issues, needs and goals will inform governance and design that is appropriate and unique to communities with the objective of building houses and community to meet existing and future need.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation response to the First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy
The First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy must move beyond creating minimally acceptable housing and community infrastructure. Housing as a universal human right must support individual and community well-being, allowing First Nations, with government partnership, to develop institutions which deliver appropriate, safe and healthy homes to all community members on- and off-reserve.
The recommendations made throughout this report address how a First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy could create an occupant-focused, community-led housing system. The objective of these recommendations, and the currently under development Nishnawbe Aski Nation Housing Strategy, is to develop housing and community infrastructure supportive of individual and community wellness. To achieve this goal recommendations have been made for changes to governance structures, planning processes, funding mechanisms, community participation and community infrastructure development with a recognition that capacity development initiatives are critical in a period of transition to locally controlled housing institutions.