Alberta announces 4 Indigenous housing projects

This despite cutting the Indigenous Housing Capital Program by nearly half.

Earlier this month, the Alberta government and the Canadian government announced joint funding for 4 Indigenous housing projects in Alberta.

These projects will be built in Calgary, Edmonton, Lac Ste. Anne, and Victor Lake (near Grande Cache).

Edmonton’s project will be a 34-unit affordable housing facility, and the other 3 communities will each receive a 12-unit housing project.

Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation claimed in a media conference that these 70 units will house 100 families.

Total funding for the projects will total $13.1 million.

The portion provided from the federal government is made possible through a bilateral agreement under the National Housing Strategy. This agreement was signed in 2019 by Alberta NDP minister of seniors and housing, Lori Sigurdson, and committed Alberta to providing $339 million over 10 years to fund social and community housing in the province.

Since both governments agreed to fund half of the $678 million made possible through the bilateral agreement, I assume the provincial government is providing half of the $13.1 million for this specific project, or $6.55 million. If true, the feds would contribute $6.55 million as well.

According to the announcement, the provincial component of the funding will come from the Indigenous Housing Capital Program, which the Alberta government will fund to the tune of $10 million a year over the next 3 years.

The media release provided no details on the length of the construction process, but if we assume a 3-year construction timeline, than their $6.55 million contribution works out to about 20% of all the Indigenous Housing Capital Program over the next 3 years.

The UCP allocated $12 million to the IHCP last year, but only $5 million during their first budget year.

This was a significant reduction under the last budget proposed by the NDP while they were in power (they created the programme in the 2018–2019 budget year). Here’s how funding for the IHCP compares between the two parties.

2019–2020$17 million$5 million
2020–2021$18 million$12 million
2021–2022$18 million$10 million
2022–2023$18 million$10 million
$71 million$37 million

The NDP hadn’t projected costs for 2023–2024. Had they continued the $18 million for a 4th year, then total funding for the 5 years would be $89 million for the NDP and $47 million for the UCP.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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