New affordable homes for Indigenous people in Quesnel open
QUESNEL - Twenty-six new affordable rental homes are now open for Indigenous Elders, couples and people living with disabilities in Quesnel.
The Province, through BC Housing, partnered with the Dakelh & Quesnel Community Housing Society (DQCHS) to build Stepping Stone, a three-storey building at 109 Bowron Ave. The building consists of 26 one-bedroom units, including three accessible and 14 adaptable homes.
"The opening of Stepping Stone is exceptional news, as it will help more Indigenous people in Quesnel live affordably, close to family, community and culture," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Our government will continue to work with Indigenous housing organizations like the Dakelh & Quesnel Community Housing Society to make sure more Indigenous people have access to housing that meets their needs in communities throughout B.C."
Stepping Stone, operated by DQCHS, includes culturally specific amenities, such as an Indigenous food storage area, along with other common spaces such as shared laundry and amenity rooms. Residents started moving into their new homes in January 2023.
"Dakelh & Quesnel Community Housing Society is very excited to have opened Stepping Stone," said Luanne Ruotsalainen, executive director, DQCHS. "We offer supports to our tenants so they can continue to live a clean and sober lifestyle. There is also Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous groups run out of the building to further support tenants."
The Province, through BC Housing, provided a $5.5-million grant from the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund for the project, and will provide approximately $347,000 in annual operating funding. DQCHS providing equity and the land for the project, totalling approximately $639,000.
"These housing units will help families not only have the shelter they need to heal and thrive, they also help provide culturally supportive community connections that are critically needed for Indigenous people living in urban and rural parts of BC," said Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association. "The impact that safe, affordable, trauma-informed housing can have on community well-being and individual wellness can't be underestimated. Housing is a key component to ending cycles of poverty that have been left unaddressed for far too long."
The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has delivered more than 74,000 new homes that have been completed or are underway, including 122 homes in Quesnel.
To learn more about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436
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/