Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, says this is a historical first for a province to be working with First Nation communities to provide affordable housing. (Black Press Photo)

Precedent setting, province commits $231M to build homes for Indigenous families

Work already underway on some of the 1,143 homes in 26 communities

In a precedent-setting move, BC Housing will be providing more than 1,100 new homes for Indigenous people in B.C.

“This is historical,” says B.C.’s minister of municipal affairs and housing, Selina Robinson. “No provincial government has ever said we’re going to build housing with First Nations. It’s important that we do it because it’s the right thing to do, it’s part of reconciliation and it’s better for everybody when there’s access to appropriate housing.”

Overall, approximately $231 million will be provided to build new housing in 26 communities throughout B.C. This includes $76 million for 367 unit of on-reserve and $155 million for 776 reserves of off-reserve housing.

“If you’re challenged to pay for medication, food, and transportation — these are all essential to have a decent life,” says Robinson. “We shouldn’t have to wait years and years to build these sorts of projects, we want to give … families a key to a home that will provide them with some security for a long-term.”

READ MORE: Affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities

BC Housing will be working with 30 different projects across the province, which are now at different stages of development.

The rent payment of these properties will to reflect the renter’s income, which is determined on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) guidelines of having to pay no more than 30 per cent of income for housing.

“There have been so many stories of overcrowding, so children and young adults leave because there’s no housing for them, they go to urban centres where they have no support system and then they fall into challenging lifestyles,” says Robinson. “Or even elders who lived in communities their entire lives, but now they need to leave because there’s isn’t any of housing they need — it makes it harder for everybody.”

READ MORE: B.C. women fleeing violence to get new transition housing facilities

Robinson says there were a number of chiefs and leaders from Indigenous communities at the funding announcement Nov. 24 and that everyone in the room wanted to “collectively weep”, feeling an “immense sense of relief.”

“This is historical, that’s what was so touching about Saturday,” Robinson says.


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Blockades violating people’s rights to move freely

Too many protesters clearly believe their rights supersede other citizens’ rights, says letter writer

Students projected to be in new wing of École Hammond Bay in two years

Project to expand north-end French immersion school to add 13 classrooms

Crimson Coast Dance Society salutes African dance during Black History Month

Dancers from Mozambique, Rwanda and Cameroon to give demonstrations and lessons

Nanaimo Clippers, clad in Snuneymuxw jerseys, win in OT

BCHL team wins both its weekend games to stay in contention for first place on the Island

Nanaimo-bound ferry breaks down, but another available for service

Two sailings cancelled Sunday on Tsawwassen-Duke Point route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Captain says nothing beats VIU volleyball program

Graduating player Andrea Cankovic has three national titles and isn’t quite done yet

Quilting a labour of love for Nanaimo women’s church group

Hope Lutheran women craft 1,000 quilts for humanitarian cause

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Most Read