Construction begins on new homes for Indigenous Peoples in Vernon

January 6, 2022 at 11:17 am  BC, News, Politics

Construction is starting on a 35-unit housing development designed to help address the affordability and accessibility needs of Indigenous individuals, Elders and families in Vernon.

“We know there’s a significant need to build more affordable and accessible homes for Indigenous Peoples in Vernon,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “Our government will continue to work with First Nations and Indigenous housing partners to deliver projects like this, on and off reserve, in communities throughout the province.”

Located at 5577 27 Ave., the five-storey building will provide a variety of studio to four-bedroom affordable rental homes for Indigenous Peoples with moderate and low incomes. Nine of the homes will be accessible for people with disabilities.

The site is located next to Thunderbird Manor, which provides 38 rental homes for Indigenous Peoples in the community. The new project will be owned and operated by Vernon Native Housing Society.

“Our board and staff would like to thank BC Housing, the City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan for their contributions,” said Val Chiba, president, Vernon Native Housing Society. “These partnerships are crucial to increasing the supply of affordable housing in our community. This new building is adding not only affordable housing for our urban Indigenous Peoples, but also addressing the lack of accessible housing in our area. We are proud to be a part of the solution.”

The Province is providing a grant of approximately $7.6 million for the project construction under the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF), as well as annual operating funding of about $413,000. The City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan are contributing approximately $382,000 to the project by offsetting regional and municipal development costs.

“This is an exciting and meaningful project to help match the needs of Indigenous community members, particularly for families,” said Victor Cumming, mayor, City of Vernon. “The city would like to thank the Vernon Native Housing Society for spearheading this project, as well as BC Housing for its generous and collaborative participation to make this much-needed housing a reality. We are honoured to be part of these continued partnerships to increase and improve affordable housing opportunities in Vernon.”

The site is located close to amenities, services and transit. The housing is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2023.

This project is part of the B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 30,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C.

Quick Facts:

  • The IHF is a 10-year, $550-million investment to build and operate 1,750 new homes on and off reserve. With this commitment, B.C. became the first province in Canada to invest provincial housing funds into on-reserve housing, which is a federal jurisdiction.
  • Including these new homes in Vernon, there are more than 1,200 IHF homes open, under construction or in development.
  • Since 2017, through investments by the Province, approximately 460 new affordable homes have opened or are underway in Vernon.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

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