Snuneymuxw First Nation has been named as the operator for the next supportive housing complex being planned on Nicol Street.
An e-mail from B.C. Housing noted that Snuneymuxw is best positioned to be the operator as it has relationships, experience and knowledge needed to make 355 Nicol St. a success.
The First Nation owns and operates more than 100 homes across four reserves and oversees capital projects representing almost $40 million, with housing projects currently under development worth another $50 million. Snuneymuxw also manages an effective homeless outreach program, said B.C. Housing.
The agency also noted that a recent point-in-time count, which provides a snapshot of people who experience homelessness, suggested that up to one-third of Nanaimo’s homeless population is Indigenous.
The new Nicol Street complex will prioritize housing Snuneymuxw members, followed by other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples, and will have integrated cultural, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and health supports in place.
“The building has been designed in partnership with SFN to provide a healing space that is safe, welcoming and connected to the land and the greater community. We are excited to share details of those designs at the upcoming community meetings,” read the e-mail.
Community engagement for the project, which is in joint partnership with B.C. Housing, SFN and City of Nanaimo, will soon start, running until May 26 with an virtual event planned for May 18.
“Everyone living in the neighbourhood is invited to view the designs, learn about the supportive housing, and share their feedback,” noted B.C. Housing. “The project partners are committed to working together and listening to community feedback to ensure this development benefits future residents and the south end community, now and into the future.”
The community can share its thoughts on the project by visiting http://letstalkhousingbc.ca/nanaimo-355-nicol-street to review the discussion guide and complete the feedback form online before May 26, and also by participating in the virtual community conversation with B.C. Housing and SFN representatives on May 18, from 6-8 p.m.
Participants for the virtual event must register in advance through http://letstalkhousingbc.ca/nanaimo-355-nicol-street.
Once community engagement is complete, the project team will make any necessary changes to the design and will submit a re-zoning application to the City of Nanaimo, noted the release.