FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2024
Winnipeg, MB, Treaty Territory No.1— The First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) launched a first of its kind resource today entitled, The First Nations Housing Knowledge Base (FNHKB). Funded through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Supply Challenge, the FNHKB has been designed to improve access to information and training material for First Nations housing professionals as well as for First Nations tenants and homeowners.
“This innovative housing resource was developed with a ‘first of its kind’ emphasis on community collaboration. We reached out to First Nation communities across the province to find out what they really needed from a platform like this,” said Joseph Spence, FNHKB Housing Coordinator of FNHSSM. “With our committee of First Nations housing experts and leaders helping to build this resource, we know the right information is included, it will be utilized, and will support those working in housing in our First Nations.”
As part of the knowledge base, this virtual housing sharing circle includes a collection of resources related to housing. FNHSSM, its partners and community collaborators have contributed towards the centralized repository of information. Some examples of resources include seasonal maintenance checklists for housing managers, information on black mould prevention and treatment, heat recovery ventilators, funding opportunities, and community success stories. The knowledge base will also include the Online Housing Manager’s Q&A Forum where registered users can interact with one another to share their experiences, discuss solutions on housing issues, and learn from each other in developing improved standards of best practice. Another important part of this new resource is the Community Housing Information Database, where users can input housing data for their First Nation. This will provide an important overview of the state of First Nations housing in Manitoba and inform policy and decision making at all levels of government.
“We invite those working in the First Nations housing field and tenants in community to sign up and be part of this valuable and informative resource,” said Chief Sheldon Kent, Chair of FNHSSM. “Information that is being shared through this project will support First Nations Housing in Manitoba and improve the quality and lifespan of our homes we live in.”
As the First Nations Housing Knowledge Base is further utilized, more information will be added, including the development of a community toolbox that contains community-developed, tried-and-tested efficiency solutions. These will include resources such as housing inspection forms, tenant policy guides, basic home maintenance guides and housing surveys.
Highlights about The First Nations Housing Knowledge Base
· The First Nations Housing Knowledge Base will help improve the quality and lifespan of the First Nations housing supply while reducing their total cost of ownership.
· The FNHKB is like an online sharing circle:
it houses a library of housing-related articles. The goal of this library is to provide a centralized repository of information that we and our community collaborators felt were fundamental to housing professionals working in First Nations communities. For instance, we have seasonal maintenance checklists to which housing managers can refer to in order to ensure that seasonal maintenance responsibilities are being addressed.
· The Knowledge Base also contains information on black mould prevention and treatment, heat recovery ventilators, funding opportunities, community success stories, and more.
· There is a lot of valuable information available through that Knowledge Base about efficiency and cost saving tips that housing managers can share with their tenants and homeowners to help save them money.
· New communities can share their tools and guides that they developed themselves and use to great effect in their own community. Most communities are volunteering to share these tools with the community at large that is creating a community-developed, tried-and-tested efficiency toolbox with solutions that everyone in our network can access. These include: housing inspection forms, tenant policy guides, basic home maintenance guides and housing surveys.
· The Housing Knowledge Base also includes an Online Housing Manager’s Q&A forum where our registered users can pool the great wealth of their collective experience and interact with one another to discuss solutions to housing issues and ultimately develop better standards of best practice.
· The Knowledge Base also includes a Community Housing Information Database where once a year, we collect information from each First Nation about the state of housing in their community. By including this data and voice from communities, we can have a greater overview on the state of First Nations housing in Manitoba. This will also better inform and improve policy and decision making related to housing by all levels of government.
To learn more about the First Nations Housing Knowledge Base, please visit: https://housing.fnhssm.com