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Seventy new homes for Lax Kw’alaams Band coming to Prince Rupert

October 26, 2023 at 8:34 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Families, elders, individuals and people living with disabilities from the Lax Kw’alaams Band will soon have access to 70 new affordable homes, with construction underway on a new apartment building near Prince Rupert.

“These 70 new homes are part of our commitment to help more Indigenous Peoples live affordably, while being close to family, community and culture, both on and off reserve,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We are proud to work with organizations like the Lax Kw’alaams WAAP Housing Society and Indigenous developers like the Coast Tsimshian North Contractors to ensure more Indigenous Peoples have access to housing that meets their needs in communities throughout B.C.”

Located at 830 11th Ave. East, the project will provide much-needed off-reserve housing for Lax Kw’alaams elders, families and individuals, including people living with disabilities, with low to moderate incomes. The four-storey building will have a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, including 15 fully accessible homes.

“With construction underway, many urgently needed homes will soon be available for Lax Kw’alaams members so they can live near the community they know and love,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Homes for Indigenous families and individuals that are affordable, culturally appropriate and inclusive are needed in our community. I look forward to seeing their benefits for years to come.”

The project has been designed by the Lax Kw’alaams community to accommodate multi-generational living and to provide a gathering space for activities that celebrate the rich local culture. This includes providing a place for Sm’algya̱x language classes and traditional art.

“This 70-unit housing project has been a long time coming for Lax Kw’alaams, and we’re very excited to see this project move ahead,” said Garry Reece, mayor, Lax Kw’alaams. “This project will really help our members in Prince Rupert who are facing skyrocketing rental rates in addition to the increased cost of living we all face. We have quite a few members who work in Prince Rupert, and access to safe and affordable housing has the potential to make things easier for them.”

Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2025. Once complete, the building will be managed by the Lax Kw’alaams WAAP Housing Society.

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including nearly 300 homes in Prince Rupert.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, is providing:
    • $15.8 million through Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF); and
    • $4.8 million through a Cost Pressure Grant.
  • The Lax Kw’alaams Band is providing $2.5 million in cash equity.
  • The City of Prince Rupert contributed the land, valued at $637,000, through a 60-year nominal lease to the Lax Kw’alaams.
  • The project construction process will support the Lax Kw’alaams community through job opportunities, using band-owned equipment and retaining the Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance as a developer (in which the band has an ownership stake).

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

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

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