Once you have a solid implementation plan in place, you’re ready to seek approval. You’ll need to get approval for your housing policy from your community’s leadership. In some cases, you’ll need approval from the members of your community — including those who’ll be affected by the policy.
It’s a good idea to document your actions as you move through the approval process. Ideally, you’ll have a consistent approval and documentation process that can be repeated for any policy you create.
Have the housing policy approved in principle
At this stage, it’s recommended that you only obtain approval in principle for your policy. This means your community’s leaders are comfortable with the overall approach being taken.
Be prepared to explain all aspects of the proposed policy to your community’s leaders. They’ll probably have a lot of questions for you. Try to anticipate what those questions might be and have answers ready.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re asked to make many changes or get more information. Many draft policies go through several versions before they’re approved in principle. A housing policy is an important document, and you want the best one possible for your community.
Consider a legal review of the housing policy
Once you have approval in principle, you may need to send your written housing policy to your lawyer. This is especially true if the policy has procedures for dealing with non-payment of rent. Your lawyer may ask for revisions to some of the proposed actions. They may also identify changes that are needed to ensure the actions can be implemented effectively. The legal review can take a long time, but it is an important step.
Get final approval
You’re almost there. Once your lawyer is satisfied with the policy, send it to chief, council and housing staff for final approval. (If necessary, send it out to the community for final approval, too.) Also ask them to approve your implementation plan and to set the date when the policy takes effect.
For more information, please contact your First Nation Housing Specialist.