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New affordable homes open for kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation members

December 12, 2023 at 11:17 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation families, individuals and elders will soon move into 14 new homes with the opening of an affordable rental development on reserve at Lot 16, 65 Colony Farm Rd.

“Lot 16 will provide much-needed safe, quality and accessible affordable housing to meet the needs of our growing population, which has increased by 6.8% each year from 2011 to 2023,” said Chief Ron Giesbrecht, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation. “With this new multi-unit housing project we are able to welcome back home more of our members and elders who have been living in the United States, as well as other parts of the Lower Mainland to rejoin their community and return to their ancestral village of slakəyánc.”

The new development has 14 homes spread across two three-storey buildings and a one-storey building. There is a mix of one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, three- and four-bedroom homes to support families of different sizes. The homes are built on the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation’s ancient village site, now called slakəya’nc, which means “young sockeye” in the Nation’s hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. Approximately 36% of the Nation’s members make their home at slakəya’nc.

“With this opening, more people from the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation can live in their home community connected to family and culture,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “As the first province in the country to invest in on-Nation housing, our government is proud to be partnering with the Nation to build these new affordable homes for their members. I look forward to seeing the impact this development will have on the community for years to come.”

The project is the result of a partnership between the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, the Province through BC Housing, and the Government of Canada through Indigenous Services Canada.

“Communities are stronger when people can grow up there, raise a family and age in place,” said Fin Donnelly, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. “Thank you to the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Nation for their leadership in building these homes. These types of partnerships are one way our government is addressing the housing crisis. We will continue to partner with First Nations to create housing, on  and off reserve, throughout B.C.”

These homes are the first project to be completed by the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation (KFN) under its historic Land Code passed in 2020, which transferred the management of reserve lands from the Government of Canada back to the Nation. The federal government had managed these lands since 1876.

“My congratulations to the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation for their leadership and work to deliver these safe, secure and urgently needed homes for their members,” said Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville. “This development benefits the whole community, with more homes for people who are looking for an affordable place to live without having to leave the surrounding area.”

The housing will be operated by the KFN Housing Society, a non-profit housing provider owned by the Nation. Monthly rents range from $500 for a one-bedroom home to $1,200 for a four-bedroom home. Tenants are expected to move into their new homes in January 2024.

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including approximately 460 homes in Coquitlam.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, contributed approximately $3 million to the project through the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund and is providing approximately $60,000 in annual operating funding.
  • The kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation provided the land for the project, valued at approximately $1.7 million.
  • The federal government, through Indigenous Services Canada, contributed $825,000 from its Housing Support Program.
  • The Province recently announced a second request for proposals (RFP) for the Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF).
  • The IHF provides approximately $1.8 billion to build 3,500 new homes for Indigenous families, individuals and elders, on- and off-reserve.

Learn More:

For information about the recently announced Indigenous Housing Fund RFP and how to apply, visit: https://news.bchousing.org/more-than-1000-new-affordable-homes-coming-for-indigenous-people

To learn 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 people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing

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