Seven local First Nations have received federal funding to build new housing units in their communities.

The communities include Wauzhushk Onigum, Eagle Lake, Deer Lake, Iskatewizaagegan #39, Mishkeegogamang, Webequie and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nations.

“Any addition to the housing supply will help alleviate overcrowding issues and can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19,” said Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald.

“I am encouraged that all these partners and First Nation communities are working together because housing is a basic human right – home is where we feel safe. We look forward to working with our federal and provincial partners on how to mitigate rising construction costs so that we can reach our mutual goal of safe and affordable housing for First Nations peoples in Ontario.”

Funding for the new builds will be delivered through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the National Housing Strategy. The program provides funding to develop new, permanent and affordable housing by covering construction, conversion or rehabilitation costs.

“We hope this imitative will take into account the recent spike in the cost of building supplies like lumber,” Archibald notes. The price of lumber in Canada has almost tripled since last summer.

In total, 16 communities received funding through the program. As of May 6, public details about the 9 other communities involved were not available.