First Nation housing policies, like all other policies, are living documents. To stay relevant and respond to changing circumstances, they’ll likely need to be updated as time goes on. Having clear procedures for revising or cancelling a policy is an important part of the policy-making process.

By closely monitoring the effectiveness of your housing policy, you can decide if it needs to be revised or cancelled.

When the housing policy needs to be revised

If you need to revise the policy, you should consider following a similar process to when it was developed. You must identify the reasons it needs to change and what specifically needs to change. Your community’s leadership must also agree the policy needs these changes.

First, you need to do research to determine the most effective wording. Develop the new wording in consultation with affected staff and community members. Make sure your changes are consistent with the existing tone and style of the policy.

After this, you’ll be ready to seek approval from your community’s leadership. If approval is given, the revised policy will go into effect. You’ll then need to continue monitoring the application and enforcement of the policy.

Remember, this is an ongoing process — even amended policies will eventually need to be revised again.

When the housing policy needs to be cancelled

It’s rare that a housing policy needs to be cancelled. However, this could happen if the policy doesn’t meet the needs of the community or was poorly researched or written. Sometimes, a policy is so outdated it would be best for it to be rewritten entirely to become relevant.

While cancelling a housing policy is simpler than amending one, you’ll follow most of the same steps. The reason for cancelling the policy must be clearly identified and the results of the cancellation must be understood. The need to cancel the policy then needs to be reviewed with chief and council and the affected community members.

The policy cancellation must be approved by your community’s leadership. The decision must then be explained to all people affected by the cancellation. Remember that the policy cancellation may have unexpected consequences, so be prepared to respond accordingly.

For more information, please contact your local CMHC office or CMHC consultant.

Date Published: March 31, 2018