Miloon Kothari, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, is in Canada on an 11-day factfinding mission to assess how well Canada is faring when it comes to housing those who need it most.

The UN Rapporteur has set four themes for his special mission: Women and housing; Aboriginal people and housing; homelessness; and the social impact of the Vancouver Olympics.

In Kahnawake October 9, Kothari met with AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard, Chief Simon Coocoo of Wemotaci, Chief Raphael Picard of Pessamit and Mr. Jimmy Papatie a representative of Kitcisakik. The chiefs used the opportunity to press the need to eliminate the housing backlog in their communities, said Picard.

“We probably would need to build 7,500 homes tomorrow in order to be comparable to the rates that overall Quebec residents enjoy as a province which is a ratio of about two people per home,” said Picard. “For the aboriginal communities it’s more like four or five per home.”

Kothari will be presenting the findings of his special mission in Ottawa October 22 after visiting Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto along with various other native reserves across Canada.