Madam Speaker, our government recognizes that indigenous people, regardless of where they live, face unique barriers to finding housing that they can afford and that meets their needs.
We know that decent housing is essential to improving social and health outcomes and providing a dignified future for indigenous communities and children. To get it right, we know that the solutions we develop must be “for indigenous people, by indigenous people”. That is why our most recent budget reiterated our commitment to working with indigenous communities to jointly develop and launch a housing strategy for indigenous people in urban, rural and northern communities.
This is just one element of the most recent budget that addresses indigenous housing. It is in addition to the $4-billion investment over seven years to Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to accelerate work to close the housing gap for indigenous people.
Our rapid housing initiative, created to respond to urgent housing needs during the pandemic, was extremely successful with indigenous groups. During the first two phases, indigenous peoples represented over 40% of recipients. Budget 2022 allocated an additional $1.5 billion to the rapid housing initiative. This funding will provide even more support for building and improving housing for indigenous people.
During a committee meeting, Vice-Chief Richard Derocher of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council expressed appreciation for the CMHC's work to make housing available on reserve, especially housing for people with low incomes. He said he hoped to see more of it.
There is still a lot of work to do to improve indigenous housing conditions, just as there is still a lot of work to do to advance reconciliation in this country. That is why we will keep working with first nations, Inuit and Métis organizations to jointly develop tailored housing strategies that meet their communities' unique needs and are based on the principle of self-determination.