YKDFN Housing Strategy

Updated February 2022

Housing Strategy Vision: Supporting safe, caring and culturally respectful homes to enhance the life, learning and well-being of our people.

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) has identified the availability of adequate, affordable, and appropriate housing for their members as an ongoing major concern. To address this concern holistically, YKDFN has begun looking beyond existing programs towards community-based solutions. The unique climate, geography, and culture of YKDFN have meant one-size-fits-all solutions created by the federal or territorial government have failed to appropriately house members within their communities of Ndilo and Dettah. The YKDFN Housing Strategy aims to put community members in control of their housing system: planning, design, building, and governance.

Upcoming Community Consultations

[Upcoming consultation events to be included here when scheduled]

Project Deliverables

The YKDFN Housing Strategy consists of four main themes which provide the framework for the project’s activities and deliverables:

  1. Community Planning
  2. Data and Advocacy (formerly Social Implications of Housing)
  3. Design (formerly Physical Characteristics of Home)
  4. Governance (formerly Housing Administration)

Current Housing Strategy Activities

1. Community Planning

ActivitiesWhat has been doneNext StepsDeliverables
– Review existing community planning documents
– Identify relevant land use designations
– Identify areas for future housing development
– Hosted preliminary land use category definition and designation sessions
– Begun technical work identifying and assessing areas for residential subdivision development in both Dettah and Ndilo
– Community engagement around subdivision location and design1. Updated community land use plans
2. Creation of long-term community land use planning framework

2. Data and Advocacy

ActivitiesWhat has been doneNext StepsDeliverables
– Create community-based housing data collection tools
– Collect baseline housing need and outcome dataIdentify those least served by existing housing system
-Work with partners to address housing needs
– Creation of YKDFN Housing Survey Tool
– Completion of in-community baseline data collection, analysis and preliminary reporting including initial needs assessment
– Review of existing policies, programs and funding mechanisms
– Creation of policy memos (MLG & Rental allowance)
– Presentation to Standing Committee on Social Development
– Public release of data from YKDFN Housing Survey in Dettah and Ndilo 
– Collection of housing data from YKDFN members living outside of communities 
– Advocacy with all levels of government for increased program access to repairs for both public and private homes
1. Preliminary estimates of housing need
2. Action plans based on identified needs

4. Design (formerly Physical Characteristics of Home)

ActivitiesWhat has been doneNext StepsDeliverables
– Identify design preferences, priorities and challenges for YKDFN community members
– Identify YKDFN populations least served by current housing models
– Undertake interactive design processes
– Explore alternative construction techniques
– Initial conceptual design sessions hosted with all community members
– Development of 1- and 2-storey, 4-bedroom designs for construction project with Working Group and large family focus groups
– Initial housing design research and workshop preparation
– Development of initial emergency/ transitional housing concept plan and proposal
– Community engagement on design of 1-bedroom apartments to be constructed next year
– Design workshops to create housing designs for different types of units for YKDFN communities
1. Co-created, shovel-ready community housing designs
2. Implementation plans
  1. Governance (formerly Housing Administration)
ActivitiesWhat has been doneNext StepsDeliverables
– Identify appropriate governance model for YKDFN housing programs
– Develop policies, programs and implementation plans
– Identify opportunities for capacity development and training of community members
– Identify divisions in existing housing programs, policies and funding mechanisms
– Housing Strategy Working Group reviewed potential governance models and recommended to council the formation of Gonè Gokǫ̀ Society
– Council approved the formation of the Society, drafted placeholder by-law and appointed original members. Society incorporated in July 2021.
– 4 Phase policy and by-law engagement process has begun – Phase 1 of process to create vision and goals for Society, including community sessions in November occurred in Fall 2021
– Phase 2 will focus on the governance of future occupants of the housing units1. Gonè Gokǫ̀ Housing Society by-law
2. Housing policies
3. Advocacy materials


Housing Strategy Coordinator – vacant

Contact –
Housing Strategy Team

Together Design Lab