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March 19th, 2024

NDP blasts Liberals for failing to fix the housing crisis in Indigenous communities

OTTAWA - On Tuesday, for the fourth time since 2003, the Auditor General (AG) is raising serious concerns about the housing conditions in First Nations communities across Canada. The AG stated in a new report that there has been “no meaningful improvement” in housing conditions for First Nations since the Liberal government was first elected in 2015.

NDP Housing critic Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East) and NDP Indigenous Services critic Lori Idlout (Nunavut) slammed the Liberals for consistently failing to solve the dire housing crisis in First Nations communities and say urgent action and investments are needed now.

“Housing is a human right. Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call their home— and First Nations' right to housing is being neglected,” said Idlout. “The AG report confirms the ongoing painful legacy of colonialism and decades of Liberal and Conservative governments’ underfunding have caused this housing crisis in First Nations communities. This neglect must stop. First Nations deserve safe homes.”

Justin Trudeau and Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu committed to closing the housing gap on reserve by 2030. With that deadline quickly approaching, 80 per cent of the needs are still not met according to the AG report. The Liberals are on track to break yet another promise to First Nations communities, and it’s First Nations kids and families who continue to suffer.

“It is inconceivable that in 2024, in Canada, First Nations are so disproportionately homeless and forced to live in inadequate homes,” said Kwan. “This is unacceptable. The Liberals can fix this crisis, but they choose not to do it. And Pierre Poilievre isn’t the answer — when he was housing minister, he didn’t build new homes on reserve. For Budget 2024, the Liberals have a chance to partner with all levels of government including First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments with sustainable long-term funding to address this crisis. The time to act is now!”