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New Initiative to Tackle Housing Disparities in Black Communities

In a pivotal move to confront the challenges that have long hindered equitable housing for Black Canadians, the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities (NABC) is pleased to announce the development of the Black Community Housing Resource Centre (BCHC). The BCHC aims to dismantle barriers, empower Black-led organizations, and usher in a new era of improved housing outcomes for Black communities across Canada. 

Systemic racism and discriminatory practices have created significant barriers to safe, affordable, and equitable housing for Black people in Canada. The BCHC acknowledges the multifaceted challenges faced by Black communities, including restricted access to information, a lack of tailored strategies, and a lack of race-based data within housing institutions. Recognizing these obstacles, NABC and its partners have taken a bold step to initiate change and foster inclusivity within the Canadian housing landscape. 

The purpose of the BCHC is to provide specialized services to Black communities and organizations interested in developing business case proposals to access funding from the National Housing Strategy (NHS), as well as provincial and municipal funding streams. It will accomplish this by offering comprehensive support in project planning, development, and management support. Its ultimate objective is to make a substantial contribution to the availability of high-quality and affordable housing for Black communities across Canada, thus addressing existing imbalances in the housing sector. 

At the heart of this transformative initiative is collaboration – a critical component in addressing the challenges faced by Black communities. Funding toward the establishment of the BCHC has been secured from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Government of Nova Scotia, highlighting the significance of governmental support in addressing housing inequalities. To ensure the success of this initiative, key partnerships are also vital, and the Community Housing Transformation Centre plays an essential role as a key collaborator.  

“This initiative represents a critical step towards addressing housing disparities faced by Black communities in Canada,” said Allan Boesak, Senior Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives at NABC. “Through the BCHC, we aim to build capacity, improve housing outcomes, and actively contribute to the general community housing sector across the country.” 

NABC plays a pivotal role in incubating the BCHC with support from a dedicated Advisory Committee and has implemented a variety of activities to achieve its objectives. These include building a national housing registry of Black-led community housing providers and service organizations, raising awareness, and creating visibility within the sector, and co-ordinating consultations in major cities with Black communities. These efforts are designed to gain a better understanding of Black communities’ housing needs, challenges, opportunities, and capacity. 

As we build to launch the BCHC in 2024, it symbolizes not just a response to housing challenges but a collective stride toward a more equitable future – a future where high-quality, affordable housing is a reality for all Black communities in Canada.  

To learn more about this initiative, please contact NABC’s Senior Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives, Allan Boesak at [email protected]. 

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