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An analysis of off-reserve core housing need of Indigenous renters in British Columbia

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This project uses Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Core Housing Need (CHN) indicator to assess the incidence of inadequate housing, unaffordable housing, and unsuitable housing for Indigenous and non-Indigenous renter households from 1996 to 2016 in British Columbia using data collected through the Census and National Household Survey. Trends over time, regional differences, and disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous households are discussed in relation to housing policy and other indicators, such as average household income and vacancy rate. The incidence of CHN of Indigenous renter households decreased from 48.5% to 35.2% between 1996 and 2016. However, the current incidence of CHN (2016) continues to be much higher for Indigenous renter households (35.2%) than non-Indigenous renter households (29.4%). Regionally, Indigenous renter households in the Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island/Coast regions experienced the highest levels of CHN in 2016, while the Nechako and Northeast regions had the lowest levels of CHN. Affordability is the primary determinant of CHN. Recent housing policy is attempting to address this problem by funding the development of affordable housing nationally and in BC, with both the federal and provincial government contributing to on- and off-reserve housing. Although the incidence of CHN for Indigenous renter households has improved over time, it remains a substantial issue and the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous households continues to exist.
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