The Urban Housing Program, administered on behalf of the federal government by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), assists Urban Native non-profit housing sponsors, supported by a membership of native peoples and other individuals approved by the sponsor, to meet the housing needs. CMHC provides Subsidy Assistance accommodation to low and moderate-income Native peoples.
Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority originated when two individuals, Casey Scott of the Peigan Nation and Mike Bruised Head of the Blood Tribe, were involved in a summer project through the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society. Their study indicated that Native people, within the Treaty 7 Area, were having difficulty in acquiring suitable housing in urban centers
Findings of the study were brought to the Treaty 7 Chiefs, who directed Greg Smith, Treaty 7 Tribal Council Vice President at the time, to explore alternatives that would help alleviate the situation their people were facing. Frances Weasel Fat, then Executive Assistant for Treaty 7 Tribal Council, conducted further research and initiated the proceedings that later resulted in the formation of Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority.
Treaty 7 Urban Indian Housing Authority was incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act, in March. In December of this year, the first 15 homes were purchased in the City of Lethbridge. Today, the organization has grown to 165 units.
The Housing Authority is governed by a group of unpaid volunteers called the Board of Directors. The Board does not have direct day-to-day responsibility for operations or programs, but are responsible for establishing policies. They must also set and follow budget, ensure all legal obligations are met and provide firm leadership and maintain open lines of communication.
All board members assume responsibility Housing Authority's interests and objectives and must therefore appreciate the level of commitment and degree of responsibility required of them. They must act at all times in the best interest of the Housing Authority, so as to preserve its assets, further its interests and promote the purpose for which it was formed.
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