Urban Housing Crisis in Lethbridge
Lethbridge – The Aboriginal Housing Society is in charge of urban native housing and admits there are hundreds of people from neighbouring reserves waiting for homes inside city limits.
“I have about 300 people on file and I only have 41 units,” says Boyd Thomas, the general manager of the Aboriginal Housing Society.
Last Monday the Aboriginal Housing Society approached Lethbridge City Council for help in what they are calling an aboriginal housing crisis.
“What I want to do with council is say to them the situation that native people are facing when they come off of reserves into Lethbridge. There is a housing crisis. We have the ability to deal with that, but we could be far more effective if we join our resources together to be able to increase the inventory of housing.”
Lethbridge sits next to the largest reserve in the country, the Blood Reserve, and has a population of nearly 12,000 people with under 2000 houses.
“It can work out to be about 45 people per house. Now, when you take a look at housing conditions, do they meet health and safety standards?” Thomas questions.
The City of Lethbridge says it’s been working with the Aboriginal Housing Society for years and did help them apply for the government grant to get this complex. Currently there are 41 units and there are two more being developed.