Expanded program funding and one-year housing and homelessness needs assessment.
Métis families and individuals will have an expanded choice of housing assistance after an historic $24 million investment by Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) into new and affordable housing programs and services.
The investment includes a 1-year initiative to assess the specific housing and homelessness needs of Métis people across B.C. This assessment addresses the Canada-Métis Housing and Homelessness Sub-accords with the intention of reducing the Métis core housing needs by 50% in the next 5 years.
$16 million is budgeted for the purchase of land and costs related to the development of Métis housing, with the goal of creating hubs in each of MNBC’s 7 regions. These hubs will pair affordable housing with Métis services that offer spaces for programming from all MNBC ministries and Chartered Communities. The culmination of these housing and hub developments is the creation of a Métis housing authority.
MNBC is also launching the Reaching Home Homeless Outreach Program, a federally funded, 4-year initiative to implement Housing First principles, connecting Métis who are chronically homeless directly to appropriate housing and to ongoing housing retention supports. Results from the Homelessness Needs Assessment will determine how Métis Homeless Outreach workers will be deployed across BC. More details on this program will be shared in the coming weeks.
To date, MNBC has launched a number of programs in response to COVID aimed at supporting Métis people impacted by the pandemic. These include $704,000 in rent supplements, $60,000 in utility supplement, and $68,000 for the emergency housing fund. Over 800 Métis individuals have received COVID related housing supports from MNBC.
“Investing in our Métis communities with the creation of regional hubs will create greater opportunities for our people to connect,” says Dean Gladue, MNBC Minister of Housing and Homelessness. “This historic investment is the first step in creating a one-stop-shop of programs, services, and housing for our Métis communities.”
“A greater focus on the addressing the unique housing needs of our Métis people across B.C. is long overdue,” says Trudi Turner, President of the Vermillion Forks Métis Association and President. “Involving grassroots communities in the process in developing programs and supports will help identify the individual needs of our communities.”