CMHC - Dec. 2012

Lennox Island Shares a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Development of its New Housing Policy

Collecting rent is one of the most common challenges many First Nations face. Rent is a vital source of revenue for many Aboriginal communities, which can help support the long-term viability of their housing. But when a tenant is missing their rent payments, many communities have little or no recourse as to how to fix the problem.

Up until about two years ago, Lennox Island First Nation on the northwest coast of Prince Edward Island was no exception. As a community with about 400 people living on-reserve, Lennox Island simply wasn’t in a financial position to pay the mortgages and operating costs on all of its members’ homes. But when one of its tenants failed to pay their rent, the Band’s Housing Department had no real process in place to deal with it.

In 2010, the Band Council decided to tackle this problem head-on by creating a new Housing Policy that would ensure all members have access to adequate housing in a fair and structured manner.

“The Lennox Island First Nation takes great pride in providing our membership with solid relevant programming and service delivery,” explains Chief Darlene Bernard. “To ensure fairness, accountability and transparency in decision-making, the Band Council recognizes that policy development and implementation is key to our successful growth.”

“Over the years, the Band has been very successful i ...

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