Homelessness in Canada’s North

I’m the main researcher on a three-year SSHRC-funded research project looking at homelessness and affordable housing in the Northwest Territories (NWT).  Frances Abele (Carleton University) is Principal Investigator on the project, and Arlene Haché (Yellowknife Women’s Society) is Co-Investigator.  The project falls under the larger umbrella of the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada.

Though several larger papers will come out of our efforts over the next few years, we’ve just released a short piece looking very generally at homelessness among Indigenous people in Canada’s North.  The piece shines a bit of light on some statistics that blog readers may find interesting…

  • The unemployment rate for Aboriginal people in the NWT is more than 4X greater than for non-Aboriginal people in the NWT.
  • An Aboriginal households in the NWT is almost 4X as likely to report having more than 1 person to a room than a non-Aboriginal household in the NWT.
  • While 2% of Canadian households are considered to be living in crowded conditions (as defined by CMHC), the figure for Yellowknife is 3%, and the figure for rural NWT is 8%.
  • While 8% of Canadian households are considered to live in housing that requires major repairs, the figure for Yellowknife is 10%, and the figure for rural NWT is 22%.
  • Roughly 1% of a Canadian municipality’s general population generally stays at least one night in an emergency homeless shelter in a given year.  The figure for Yellowknife is 5%.

Looking ahead, I have an article on affordable housing in the NWT that is slated to appear in next year’s edition of How Ottawa Spends (published by McGill-Queen’s University Press).  We’re also planning to release a community report on homelessness in Yellowknife in late-May 2011.

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