The Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) has ambitious plans to build affordable housing and develop housing programs and policies across the province in the coming years. The first step in achieving this goal requires MNBC’s Ministry of Housing and Homelessness to conduct a Housing Needs Assessment, in order to determine the housing needs of Métis people across B.C.
MNBC is running the survey from July 15 to August 15. “This is a super important survey,” says Monica Fisher, the president of the Columbia Valley Métis Association (CVMA). “It’s been demonstrated that there is a lack of affordable and accessible housing in the Columbia Valley. Having our citizens participate in the survey is going to assist the MNBC in determining areas across the province of the highest need.”
The Housing Needs Assessment is a data-gathering project that will allow MNBC to better understand Métis people’s current and future housing needs. The assessment consists of data collection, community consultation, data analysis, and reporting. It will ask questions across the housing spectrum, relevant for both renters and homeowners.
Ensuring registered Métis of the Columbia Valley complete the survey will also help Fisher advocate for local funding to invest in property and infrastructure. “We are in the works of looking at real estate and are in discussions with potential housing,” she says, making sure to indicate that nothing is currently set in stone. “But hopefully, within a year, there is going to be Métis specific housing in certain communities in the valley.”
The information gathered will help the MNBC Ministry of Housing and Homelessness gain a better understanding of current and future housing needs. This will help MNBC develop new affordable housing projects and housing support programs across BC.
“Whether it’s first-time purchases, rentals, really any type of housing at all, people are moving away because they can’t find a place to live,” said Fisher. “I would imagine the survey results will reflect that.” To complete the survey, visit mnbc.ca.
James Rose, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer