Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 12 Weeks

Program credential icon Credential

  • Certificate

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Cowichan

If you’re currently a manager working in First Nations housing, or want to expand your career in this fast-paced, challenging field, VIU’s fully online First Nations Housing Manager program can help you develop the skills to make a difference. Navigate the steep learning curve that often results from taking on responsibility for management of a First Nations community’s housing program with this three-month certificate program comprised of six courses delivered online.

Learn to approach the varied duties in your role effectively and efficiently, and take away skills that will help you manage people and projects. This is also a beneficial program for you if you currently work in First Nations governance or administration, and seek practical knowledge and information to help you manage, expand and improve on-reserve housing programs.

The First Nations Housing Manager Certificate Program

The construction and maintenance of affordable, quality housing is a priority for First Nations across Canada. As First Nations regain increased control over governance and administration of their own affairs, housing managers take on increased responsibility for all elements of First Nations housing programs. The role of housing manager is complex, demanding and rapidly changing. The skills of on-reserve housing managers have a direct impact on the health of families and communities. It is a key, high profile role, which comes with an enormous opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in communities across Canada.

The First Nations Housing Manager Certificate Program will train housing managers to assist communities to benefit from affordable, healthy, high quality, and well-maintained housing. The program provides learners with the opportunity to develop management skills through a combination of theory and practical application. The interactive approach to learning new skills encourages participants to test new ideas, fine tune relevant skills and share experiences and expertise with other housing managers in a supportive learning environment.

The program offers a practical format for professional development, combining classroom and online instruction, recognizing and complementing existing work schedules and minimizing time away from communities and ongoing work functions. The program may be taken as a complete training program or courses may be taken individually.

Program Goals and Objectives

The key objectives of the program are to provide First Nations on-reserve housing managers with:

  • Practical knowledge and skills to manage housing programs, projects and activities
  • An introduction to general, transferable management concepts and theory
  • A culturally relevant learning experience
  • Practical skills and knowledge required for housing management, including:
    • maintenance management
    • financial planning, management and accountability
    • supervision
    • contracts and tenders
    • planning and performance management
    • policy and procedure
    • effective communication skills and tenant relations
    • administrative functions, and
    • managing construction and renovations

Year 1


FNHM 100T - (Introduction to Housing Management)3
FNHM 110T - (Housing Administration Level 1)3
FNHM 120T - (Housing Administration Level 2)3
FNHM 130T - (Financial Management for First Nations Housing Managers)3
FNHM 140T - (Interpersonal Communications for Housing Managers)3
FNHM 150T - (Introduction to Construction and Renovations)3
Total Credits18

All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Program length is based upon completion of 6 courses (12 weeks each in duration).

Completion Requirements

Successful completion of all courses in a program.

Notes on Admission

  • Physically fit and able to adapt to working conditions
  • Good hand/eye coordination
  • Good health, free of vision, hearing, or respiratory ailments
  • Valid driver's license will be required for vehicle and equipment operation
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program

The program is intended to provide training to housing managers who work with on-reserve housing programs, or those who may do this work in the future. It will also benefit others involved in First Nations governance or administration.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees - First Nations Housing Manager Amount
Tuition (6 courses x $1282.97 per course) 7,697.82
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 307.91
VIU Students' Union fee (3 months x $18.35 per month) 55.05
Textbooks and supplies
(approximate costs)

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

September 2024 - specific start date to be determined.

Application Fee:
Testing Required:
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Naomi Knodel
Phone: 250.746.3514
Area Contact:
Coordinator Contact:
Name: Niki Scarfo, Program Coordinator

The First Nations Housing Manager program is a part-time program consisting of 6 individual 12-week courses. Courses are delivered online, one at a time. The program takes approximately one and a half years to complete.

Please reach out to the Area Contact for further information on program and planned start date.

It is advisable that students have sufficient essential skills (reading, writing, numeracy, and computer use) to be successful in the program.

When applying to the program, please select the following options:

Applying to a Trades and Applied Technology Program

Subject Area
Foundation Programs

First Nations Housing Manager

Next available Intake

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.

Lory Oberst

“Most housing managers wear more than one hat, so it’s tough to try and find the time and the balance for further education, but this program is worth it, both to help you do your job better and to make positive changes for your communities. Right now, I’m using a lot of the material we discussed in the course to make changes to our housing policy that will make it stronger.”

Graduate, First Nations Housing Manager
Housing Manager
Skwah First Nation, Chilliwack