The B.C. government reached a milestone today with the transfer of approximately 2,500 Aboriginal housing units to the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA).
Administration of all Aboriginal social housing has now been transferred from BC Housing to AHMA, nearly 3,800 units in total since the first transfer of 189 units took place in 2004. The transfer includes Aboriginal Housing units, emergency shelters and the Aboriginal Homeless Outreach Program that operates in nine communities.
This Aboriginal self-management model for social housing is the first of its kind in Canada and better serves the needs of Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia. The B.C. government will provide AHMA with over $30 million annually to administer subsidy payments that keep the housing affordable for Aboriginal individuals and families.
AHMA is committed to the self-determination, management and delivery of affordable, quality housing to urban and rural Aboriginal people throughout B.C .and the Yukon.
Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -
"The B.C. government and AHMA share a commitment to provide affordable housing that meets the needs of the Aboriginal community. We have worked closely with AHMA to reach our shared goal and to create a model where Aboriginal housing is managed by Aboriginal people."
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing -
"Eight years ago, the B.C. Government set the stage by starting the process to transfer Aboriginal housing to AHMA. Today marks the final stage of our commitment. The complete transfer of the Aboriginal housing portfolio will help preserve the cultural and spiritual aspects of Aboriginal communities."
Margaret Pfoh, president, board of directors, Aboriginal Housing Management Association -
"Since AHMA was created in 1995, it's been our goal to have all Aboriginal housing in B.C. owned, operated, and managed by the Aboriginal community. To make this possible, we worked in partnership with the government of B.C. through BC Housing, to have all off-reserve Aboriginal housing in B.C. devolved to AHMA. Today is an historic day for the Aboriginal community, and we look forward to working with all the Aboriginal housing providers to ensure social housing continues to be available for our Aboriginal people, Elders and families who need it most."
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- There are 40 Aboriginal housing providers that have operating agreements that have transferred to AHMA.
- AHMA was formed in 1995 and is a province wide Aboriginal social housing management agency.
To learn more about affordable housing in B.C., visit: www.bchousing.org
To learn more about the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, visit: www.ahma-bc.org