Lydia Hwitsum

Welcome to the First Nations Market Housing Fund (‘the Fund’)

In many First Nations communities, owning a home remains an unfulfilled dream. A home is not just a place of shelter and safety in which to raise a family, share in traditions, formulate, and realize your dreams. Owning a home also represents an opportunity to participate in asset building and generate personal wealth and security. Significant barriers must be overcome to develop and improve market-based housing systems for First Nations citizens so that they may benefit from the homeownership opportunities that so many Canadians can take for granted. Enabling self-sufficiency and wealth creation is at the core of reconciliation. Every single person in Canada deserves a real and fair chance at success – and that must include Indigenous People.

The Fund is a unique tool developed with input from First Nations communities and organizations across Canada to support financing arrangements for housing on reserve and settlement lands where appropriate, while respecting the communal ownership of land. The Fund’s Credit Enhancement Facility has successfully established a system through which mortgage-based homeownership for on-reserve housing loans to build, buy, or renovate individual homes and multi-suite rental units is enabled. This Facility will leverage $3 billion in on-reserve housing investments.

The Fund’s Capacity Development Program supports Nation building, governments, and citizens to make use of the Credit Enhancement Facility on a sustained basis. Establishing a governance framework that includes laws, policies, codes, and practices that are clear, well understood, implemented by qualified people, and most importantly trusted by its citizens, is essential to create a market-based housing system that makes homeownership and its many benefits possible. The Fund’s broad range of capacity development products are tailored to the local needs of First Nations to support their journey to a sustainable market-based housing system.

The Fund’s partnership with 40% of Canada’s First Nations has resulted in close to $1 billion in available credit to finance home loans. The foundational blocks for market-based housing are growing for these First Nations and represent a transformative opportunity. While progress is being made, much work remains to convert this vast potential into wider homeownership.

I encourage you to explore our website to learn more about how the Fund can support investment in First Nations communities to strengthen systems, facilitate economic development, attract private financing, and expand housing options.

Lydia Hwitsum, JD
Chairperson of the Trustees
First Nations Market Housing Fund