01/27/2012 11:17 EST | Updated 03/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Grand chief casts wider net for housing help

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation says it may turn to international development organizations to help deal with its housing crisis.

It estimates a total of 5,000 houses are needed to bring a minimum standard of living to First Nations in northern Ontario.

NAN says many people are living in shacks with no electricity or running water.

Stan Loutit, NAN's Deputy Grand Chief in charge of housing, said the organization is looking to the International Monetary Fund and the Candian International Development Agency for help.

“The world bank, they're funding underdeveloped countries now and we certainly have that situation here in Canada right at our back door,” Loutit said.