Internal government documents say Manitoba First Nations residents live in some of the most dilapidated homes in the country and it will cost $2 billion to eliminate mould and chronic overcrowding in the province alone.
That's 13 times more than the $150 million the federal government has budgeted for housing on all reserves across Canada this year.
Reports from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, obtained by The Canadian Press under Access To Information legislation, say the housing situation in Manitoba has worsened while infrastructure funding has been siphoned into other areas.
- Manitoba First Nation highlights housing crisis
- Manitoba one of worst places for First Nations to live
- First Nations housing in dire need of overhaul
The report notes Manitoba has the among the highest percentage of indigenous people living in poor housing in Canada.
Officials say Alberta is the only other province with a similar backlog.
Chief David McDougall says the situation is a 'ticking time bomb' on his remote reserve of St. Theresa Point in northern Manitoba. It's not uncommon for 18 people to live in a small bungalow and many people are losing hope, he said.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says she's not deterred by the $2 billion price tag.
She says First Nations housing is a 'disgrace' and Canadians agree it must be fixed.