Measuring building quality of First Nation owned housing in British Columbia

dc.contributor.authorPorttris, Kear
dc.contributor.supervisorKennedy, Christopher of Civil Engineeringen_US of Applied Science M.A.Sc.en_US
dc.description.abstractOn-Reserve housing might be the most contentious, complicated issue faced by First Nations people in Canada. First Nations have unique relationships with the Canadian Government and face historical and on-going challenges. One of these many challenges is the growing gap between adequate housing need and availability. First Nations people face higher rates of overcrowding, exposure to mould, and living in poorly constructed or maintained homes. Housing has been studied from many angles by government and academics alike, from policy and planning to homelessness and health, but very few studies clearly quantifies the quality of On-Reserve housing. Most of the numbers used in studies, in both the grey literature and open research, draw from statistical information or self-reporting surveys. This information is helpful in a broad analysis but it lacks details that could be used for setting concrete strategic priorities and policies for building new housing and/or renovating existing stock. The objective of this research is to identify the differences between First Nation homes and non-First Nation homes in British Columbia (BC) using housing information provided by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). This data is available from the submission of home energy assessment data. Non-invasive procedures and professional experience is used to estimate many of the parameters used in these assessments. A home's air changes per hour at a pressure of 50 kPa, ACH50, was chosen as the value for home quality through this research. ACH50 is the only consistently measured parameter during home energy assessments. The information from NRCan represents 693 homes owned by First Nations between climate zones 4 and 7A and 127,295 homes owned by non-First Nations between climate zones 4 and 7B. The results of this research show that most First Nation homes were situated in climate zone 5, while most non-First Nation homes were in climate zone 4. Assuming that all the First Nation housing data is on reserve, a methodology was created to allocate the home data to individual First Nation communities in BC. This allowed 515 homes to be isolated into 25 First Nation communities, where other factors were compared to the data. Examining the aggregate data, First Nation homes faired better than non-First Nation homes in terms of ACH50 and ceiling insulation levels, but the analysis is more nuanced than the data presents. The number of homes that were isolated by First Nation community as well as the history and current situation of On-Reserve housing must be considered in the analysis. Socioeconomic factors (i.e. unemployment rates, average total income, and annual band revenues) did not seem to significantly impact the quality of homes on reserve, but the remoteness of a community did have a negative impact on the quality of a home. This research is useful in identifying some key aspects of First Nation and non-First Nation housing in BC but the analysis recognizes a gap in the data which requires a more critical and holistic evaluation to identify how this information relates to the current housing situation First Nations people continue to face.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectFirst Nationen_US
dc.subjectair changes per houren_US
dc.titleMeasuring building quality of First Nation owned housing in British Columbiaen_US


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