Urban Indigenous Housing in British Columbia:

Municipal responses through housing policy and plans

This project builds on findings from a recent four-month study conducted by Breton and Low (applicants) in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA). The study examined municipal responses to urban Indigenous housing needs within Official Community Plans (OCP) and Housing Strategies, finding that although there is a desire to engage in reconciliation efforts, most municipalities do not address urban Indigenous housing needs with their OCP or Housing Strategy. The study also identified three significant challenges for municipalities in addressing urban Indigenous housing needs: 1) lack of financial and human resources, 2) ambiguity over whether Indigenous housing needs are distinct, and 3) uncertainty around the role and jurisdiction of municipal governments. The study sample included 30 municipalities within BC and data was collected from a content analysis of municipal documents, surveys and interviews with municipal planning staff who had experience or in-depth knowledge of the processes undertaken to create their municipality's OCP or Housing Strategy.
While there is extensive literature regarding Indigenous housing on-reserve and an increasing body of research examining urban Indigenous housing experiences1, an analysis of municipalities' response to urban Indigenous housing needs in BC through policies and plans remains elusive. Building on the recent findings with additional survey and interview data, an academic paper will expand the depth of the research and address the gap within current literature. Our intent is to submit a manuscript to one of the following journals: Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, or Housing Studies.

  • Innovating in Responsive Land Practices

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