Atlantic Policy Congress Shares Study detailing current Housing Needs in Atlantic First Nations Communities

Dartmouth, June 23, 2016) Today, the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APCFNC) is releasing the results of a recent housing needs survey report completed in May 2016. The survey captures a comprehensive snapshot of the condition of Atlantic First Nations housing.

Key survey findings include:

  • Based on the National Persons per Household (PPH) standard, the number of units needed for the Atlantic Region to alleviate the current backlog is 2,560.
  • Based on the average cost of construction ($167,094.55) the estimate cost to alleviate the backlog is $427,762,048.00.
  • 2% of the on reserve population in the Atlantic Provinces is under 20 years of age.
  • Total reported units that require decontamination is 433 for mould, and 88 for radon.
  • From the communities surveyed, 759 units are over the age of 25, 210 units require infrastructure upgrades, and 53 units are currently condemned and occupied.

Of particular notice, housing shortage is exacerbated by population growth. The result is that there are long waiting lists for housing in many First Nation communities, resulting in many people living in overcrowded houses.

The need for additional units is paramount. The 2016 Survey included a question concerning the backlog list of applications for new housing. Of the communities surveyed, a total of 911 applications were received, however only a fraction of those units were built.

“This is a serious concern” said John Paul, Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress. “With a large back-log of housing applications and a rapidly growing youth population, overcrowding conditions will only worsen. First Nations people are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, which highlights the ever-growing demand for better housing on First Nation communities”.

According to the APC Survey, the average occupancy rate on reserve in Atlantic communities is 3.1 Persons per Household (PPH). This figure is close to that of 3.0 PPH for First Nations living on-reserve reported by the 2011 Census. Below, First Nations averages are compared to that of Atlantic Canada and Canada’s non-First Nations population.

APC will use the survey as a tool for a greater longitudinal initiative to study the housing needs of Atlantic First Nations and to assess the effectiveness of Federal initiatives and programs.

If you would like to learn more about this survey, please click


About APC

Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat is a policy research and advocacy organization that analyzes and develops culturally relevant alternatives to federal policy for 37 Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Innu communities and peoples.

For further information contact:

John G. Paul
Executive Director
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
Phone: 1-877-667-4007


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