Chris Beaton, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre executive director, left; Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver; Doug Routley, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA and Chief Michael Wyse of Snuneymuxw First Nation, cut the ribbon at an affordable housing project in Nanaimo on Friday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre affordable housing holds official opening

Housing complex on Bowen Road features units that are passive house certified

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s $6.4-million affordable housing project on Bowen Road was officially unveiled today.

Features of the 25-unit Nuutsumuut Lelum complex include two-storey buildings, a common room, play area for children and community garden. Chris Beaton, aboriginal centre executive director, said 21 units are occupied and he envisions an atmosphere of togetherness. Nuutsumuut Lelum means ‘all in one house.’

Snuneymuxw #firstnation chief speaks at grand opening of housing in #Nanaimo.

A post shared by Karl Yu (@karlyubulletin) on

“I think our original vision was a place for children, a place for elders and a place for youth and young families to be able to live together, but also we didn’t want a four-storey building where folks jumped in an elevator, went to their floor and never met their neighbours. We wanted a design where it sort of nurtured and encouraged interaction between the tenants themselves and creating a sense of family and community.”

The units are passive house certified, meaning they are energy efficient, which Beaton said will benefit tenants.

“What it means really is that energy use or consumption is reduced dramatically in every one of the units, which results in lower energy costs and energy bills for our tenants,” said Beaton. “So that addresses part of the affordability in creating affordable homes, but it also creates a quality of air in each of the units that is unmatched anywhere else in residential construction. It’s just a wonderful design that is good for us as an operator and it’s good for the tenants and good for the environment.”

Partnering with the aboriginal centre were the federal and provincial governments, who contributed $4.6 million to the project through the social infrastructure fund. The City of Nanaimo transferred the $770,000 land to the centre and waived $221,000 in fees and development cost charges. The Regional District of Nanaimo granted $15,000 for the passive house planning.

Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse said it’s a beautiful building and a great opportunity for his people.

“It just shows what partnerships can create,” said Wyse. “We’re really looking forward to the future of B.C. Housing and other partners moving forward. We’re really excited. We’re not only witnessing this today, but we have other projects that are in motion right now with our community with B.C. Housing, Habitat for Humanity, other partners that are really stepping up to really take care of what’s happening out there today in our greater community. We all witness the homelessness and we feel for those people. We want them to live a better life.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Machleary proposal would alter Old City

Density of proposed development very different from what’s currently allowed, notes letter writer

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

Nanaimo council decides not to take away free long-term parking for disability permit holders

Councillors agree to rescind motion that had called for changes to 1993 parking bylaw

Developers withdraw rezoning application for huge Parksville waterfront plan

IAG to create new draft after processing public feedback

B.C. Ferries wants input on what a new Horseshoe Bay terminal might look like

Ferry corporation accepting feedback on terminal re-development design concepts until Oct. 13

Mid Island Performing Arts Festival receives donation of 111-year-old piano

Instrument was originally owned by festival’s founder, Andrew Dunsmore

Nanaimo Search and Rescue to build a long-term base in Harewood

Group will sign 25-year co-management agreement for Fourth Street rec centre

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

Longwoodstock festival brings the beer, bands and ‘backyard party’ vibes

Annual beer and music festival now extended to two days

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Most Read