NW Week

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Fort Good Hope housing group has won a national award

The Fort Good Hope housing group

Key Takeaways:

  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have awarded the K’asho Got’n Housing Society in Fort Good Hope.
  • The federal agency recognized the society for a study that looked at privately held¬†homes in Fort Good Hope.

The impact of repair and maintenance work, also which types of repair were most helpful in improving housing conditions. According to a CMHC news release, “the project directly addresses housing outcomes related to Indigenous people and speaks to the specific conditions in Indigenous communities in the Northwest Territories.”

Arthur Tobac, director of the K’asho Got’n Housing Society, accepted the Gold Roof Award for Knowledge to Action on behalf of the organization. Tobac said in a virtual ceremony on Friday that the research helped the group “better understand the humanness” of housing issues in the community and how they affect people.

“We are dealing with people, not just housing,” he explained. “In Fort Good Hope, we are on the road to self-government.” As part of this journey, we are trying hard for self-sufficiency in housing and promoting responsible homeownership.” He stated that the next step is to educate the public.

The study now provides a guideline for exploring repairs and valuing maintenance funding. “Our community members do not often have access to government-run housing programs, even when they are in desperate need,” Tobac said.

“This is due to a variety of factors, including wide distrust of the government and difficulty navigating the bureaucracy.” As a result, participation in our Indigenous-led housing programs, such as these housing assessments, is much higher.”

The overall goal is for the community to become self-sufficient and no longer rely on other levels of government. According to Fort Good Hope Chief Tommy Kakfwi, the research continues its efforts of the community’s housing crisis and the resources required to address it.

“Many funding programs that are appropriate in southern Canada, designed for reserve-based systems, are not working for people,” Kakfwi said. “I hope that our work serves as an example of a path to self-sufficiency.”

“When we look at housing in general, the way we were raised, this whole housing mortgage system is new to us, so we go back to our Indigenous values of priority, responsibility, and safety.” Instead of deferring housing repairs, the community could take immediate action while still receiving funding from the NWT Housing Corporation.

According to CMHC, the society completed 52 work orders on the 30 houses. Thirty-two of them were related to frozen sewage. About 15% of orders were for heating and plumbing, with the remainder being for water pumps. Eighty percent of the jobs were completed in less than three hours.

Source: Wellandtribune News

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