Minister Vandal and Minister Miller highlight Northern housing and infrastructure investments in Budget 2021

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

April 27, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Indigenous Services Canada

Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.

Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, and Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, the Honourable Marc Miller met with Indigenous partners across the North and in Inuit Nunangat yesterday to discuss northern housing and infrastructure investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience.

The COVID-19 recession is the steepest and fastest economic contraction since the Great Depression. It has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women, and racialized Canadians. For businesses, it has been a two-speed recession, with some finding ways to prosper and grow, but with many businesses—especially small businesses—fighting to survive. Budget 2021 is an historic investment to address the specific challenges of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous.

The government recognizes that Canada’s northern, remote and isolated communities face unique housing and infrastructure needs given the challenges presented by geography, climate change, limited infrastructure, location, and historic underfunding. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $50 million in 2021-22 to fund the immediate construction and repair of housing units in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Investments in clean water, housing, and other community infrastructure will create good jobs and build healthier, safer, and more prosperous Indigenous communities in the long-term. The investments in the federal government’s plan will accelerate its 10-year commitment to close the infrastructure gaps in Indigenous communities.

Budget 2021 proposes distinctions-based investments of $6.0 billion over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $388.9 million ongoing, to support infrastructure in Indigenous communities. This includes $4.3 billion over four years, starting in 2021-22, for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, a distinctions-based fund to support immediate demands, as prioritized by Indigenous partners, with shovel-ready infrastructure projects in First Nations, including with modern-treaty and self-governing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over 7 years to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Budget 2021 also proposes to advance and reallocate $1.3 billion, including $1 billion under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units across Canada.

The Government of Canada’s top priority remains protecting all Canadians’ health and safety, particularly during this third, aggressive wave of the virus and its variants. Vaccine rollout is underway across Canada, with federal government support in every province and territory.

Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.


“This investment to provide immediate support for critical housing conditions and infrastructure in the North is a result of housing strategies co-developed with partners under the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. We recognize that more is needed and we will continue to work with partners and at the community level to support affordable, safe, and long-lasting housing for Indigenous Peoples and Northerners.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

“There are longstanding and unacceptable housing gaps that exist in Indigenous communities; we have seen this especially in the North. Indigenous partners have told us what they need and the investments through Budget 2021 will be another step in responding to those needs. Closing this gap is a priority for our government and we will continue to work with CIRNAC and Indigenous partners to this end. Through this historic investment, more homes will be built, renovated and retrofitted, and service delivery models that transfer control to Indigenous-led institutions will be developed. There is more work to do and we will make the necessary investments needed to support Indigenous housing throughout the country.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services Canada

“Across the Northwest Territories, access to quality, affordable housing is the number one issue I hear about from constituents. With the investments made in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is taking significant steps to address the housing needs of Northerners.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over 7 years to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • An additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with adequate affordable housing in short order.
  • $600 million over 7 years to renew and expand the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. This new funding will support the creation of up to 12,700 more units.
  • $315.4 million over 7years through the Canada Housing Benefit, to increase direct financial assistance for low-income women and children fleeing violence to help with their rent payments.
  • $118.2 million over 7 years through the Federal Community Housing Initiative, to support community housing providers that deliver long-term housing to many of our most vulnerable people.
  • Budget 2021 also proposes to advance and reallocate $1.3 billion in existing funding to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units across Canada.
  • This includes $750 million in funding under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, which is proposed to be advanced to 2021–22 and 2022–23. This will accelerate the creation of 3,400 new units, and the repair of 13,700 units.
  • $250 million in funding under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, which will be allocated to support the construction, repair, and operating costs of an estimated 560 units of transitional housing and shelter spaces for women and children fleeing violence. This targeted funding is being reallocated—including advancing $200 million to 2021–22 and 2022–23.
  • With a historic investment of over $18 billion, Budget 2021 helps close the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; supports healthy, safe, and prosperous Indigenous communities; and advances meaningful reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation.

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For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Antoine Tremblay
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada


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