Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre, with the ʔaq̓am Community, says there is a need for new housing stock. Phil McLachlan photo.

Province partners with three East Kootenay bands to improve housing

Three-year agreement will see three bands work together to secure capital funding for housing

Three Indigenous bands in the East Kootenay are working with BC Housing to improve the quality of on-reserve homes.

The Shuswap Indian Band, Tobacco Plains Indian Band and the ʔaq̓am Community will receive help from the housing crown corporation to maintain housing that meets industry standards for safety, durability, accessibility, healthy living and energy efficiency.

“Housing is such a basic need in everyone’s life and it is something that we have struggled with here in our community,” said Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre, with the ʔaq̓am Community. “I am very glad to be a part of this memorandum of understanding, and I am very much looking forward to the results.

“We do have a need for upgrades and renovations to the housing stock that we already have on reserve but more importantly we have a great need for new housing, the last new home built in our community was back in the 90s. Hopefully, with this new initiative, we will start to see some new homes being built.”

READ: $3.3 million administration and health building to benefit Tobacco Plains

BC Housing will also provide training and education to strenthen expertise within each of the communities to manage housing supply. The three bands will also work together to identify third-party capital funding for new on-reserve housing.

The partnership is part of a three-year agreement through the Ktunaxa Shuswap Asset Management Initiative that includes funding support from the Columbia Basin Trust and Indigenous Services Canada.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Shuswap Indian Band to share in this very important initiative with our brothers and sisters of the Ktunaxa Nation,” said Barbara Cote, the chief of the Shuswap Indian Band. “It has been 30 years since we have had any new housing for our community and have since built two duplexes for our Membership.

“The needs of housing are huge, and this is an exciting time to bring community members home where they can live and work. The importance of caring for our homes is also very important in keeping our community assets protected. A huge thank you to the Province of B.C. and Columbia Basin Trust for their continued support for our communities.”

A statement from the Tobacco Plains Nasuʔkin (Chief) Mary Mahseelah and Council welcomed the news.

“The Ktunaxa Shuswap Asset Management Initiative is an exciting opportunity to bring together the skills and resources of our communities and that of BC Housing, Columbia Basin Trust and Indigenous Services Canada, providing increased opportunity and capacity towards our goals of a safe and healthy community and housing.”

The provincial government’s Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund is set to provide $550 million over the next 10 years to build 1,750 units of on- and off-reserve Indigenous social housing.

“Indigenous peoples face disproportionate challenges when it comes to finding a safe and affordable place to live,” said Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are working closely with our partners to build the homes that Indigenous families, youth, and Elders urgently need, but we must also take care of the homes we already have – whether they are on- or off-reserve. I look forward to working with our Indigenous partners to provide better housing for people living in the Cranbrook area.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Jumbo saga reaches finale

A three-decade long disagreement comes to a close.

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Former Waterside property to be rezoned?

Invermere residents supported rezoning Waterside property.

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read