Affordable rental homes coming to Westbank First Nation
WESTBANK – Construction will soon begin on two housing projects that will provide 17 affordable on-nation rental homes for Members in Westbank through a partnership between the Province and Westbank First Nation (WFN).
“Our Council strives to ensure that all WFN Members are afforded housing opportunities that meet current needs and our long-term housing goals” said Chief Derickson, WFN. “We are very pleased with both housing projects that will be developed in partnership with BC Housing on Falcon Lane and Fox Road. Providing 17 new housing options allows us to continue to support our Membership with affordable housing while working towards our long-term vision of revitalizing our Community Core.”
The first complex, a two-storey apartment building at 1920 Falcon Lane, will include 14 apartments for WFN Members. The building will have a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, with the ground floor and two-bedroom units serving Elders and Members who require an accessible layout. Monthly rents are projected to be $400 per month for the eight onebedroom units and $570 per month for the six two-bedroom units. The Province is providing a $2.8-million grant through the Indigenous Housing Fund for the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy.
“Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives. With these homes, more WFN Members will be able to stay in their home community, surrounded by their culture and tradition,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is proud to be working in partnership with First Nations, Indigenous leaders, and Indigenous housing providers to build much-needed new, affordable homes like these for Indigenous peoples across B.C.”
Located at 1910 Fox Rd., the second project consists of a triplex for Member families. Each unit will have two-bedrooms, living, dining and kitchen areas, and one-and-half bathrooms. The Province is providing a $600,000 Indigenous Housing Fund grant for the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy.
Westbank First Nation provided the land for both projects and will own and operate the properties.
Construction will start on February 3rd and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2021.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Monthly rents for both projects are projected to be:
- Eight one-bedroom units: $400 per month
- Six two-bedroom units: $570 per month
- Three two-bedroom units for families: $570 per month
- WFN Members can submit an application for this housing through WFN Property Management.
- This housing development is part of the first series of projects selected to receive funding through the Indigenous Housing Fund, a $550 million investment over 10 years to build and operate 1,750 new units of social housing both on- and off- reserve. More than 1,100 of these homes are in development and under construction, including over 162 projects in progress in the Interior Region.
- The first Request for Proposals for new rental housing units under the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund closed on October 5, 2018. BC Housing will issue a second call for proposal this spring.
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/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 23,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for people with middle incomes
The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:
- HousingHub: 2,802 homes
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes
This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
Social housing or subsidized rents:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve
Housing for people with very low incomes
Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes
Housing for students – 5,584 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
- 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions
Total: 23,018 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing