New affordable homes open in Westbank First Nation
WESTBANK FIRST NATION - Two new affordable rental housing buildings with a combined 17 homes are open for Westbank First Nation (WFN) Members, Elders and families in the WFN community, thanks to a partnership between WFN and the Province.
"Our community is extremely grateful for the relationship we are developing with BC Housing, " said Christopher Derickson, Chief, WFN. "It is encouraging to see that BC Housing is now investing in housing on First Nation reserve lands for First Nations people. These 17 new homes will provide additional affordable housing options for our Members in the midst of what is becoming an increasingly unaffordable housing market here in our region. Through the Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF) and our relationship with BC Housing, we are making a difference in the lives of our Members."
Located at 1920 Falcon Ln., the first complex is a two-storey apartment building with 14 apartments. The building has a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, with the ground floor and two-bedroom units serving WFN Elders and Members who require an accessible layout.
Monthly rents are $400 per month for the eight one-bedroom units and $600 per month for the six two-bedroom units.
The second complex, located at 1910 Fox Rd., has three townhomes for WFN families. Each townhome has two bedrooms, living, dining and kitchen areas, and one-and-a-half bathrooms. Monthly rents are $650.
In 2018, B.C. became the first province in Canada to invest in on-reserve housing for First Nations peoples through the IHF. The fund is a $550-million investment over 10 years to build and operate 1,750 new homes, both on and off reserve. These homes with WFN are part of the first series of projects that were selected in November 2018 to receive funding through the IHF.
"Housing like this is funded by our government to ensure that Indigenous families and Elders can live in their communities, surrounded by culture and loved ones," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "Our government will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous leaders, housing providers and First Nations to build new, affordable homes like this for Indigenous people across B.C. We continue to look to the federal government to match our contributions in this important work."
WFN provided the land for both projects and will own and operate the buildings. It will hold a land acknowledgement and private blessing ceremony of the site later this month.
"More WFN Members will now have the peace of mind that comes from having access to affordable housing in the community they call home," said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. "I look forward to seeing more homes like these funded through our government's new IHF open across the province, on and off reserve."
Residents will begin moving into their new homes July 1, 2021.
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $3.4 million for the projects through the IHF and will provide an annual operating subsidy for both buildings.
- Through the IHF, more than 1,100 homes are in development and under construction throughout the province, including more than 110 homes in the Interior.
- In just over three years, the Province has more than 23,000 affordable homes completed or underway in close to 90 communities throughout B.C., including close to 1,300 homes in the greater Kelowna area.
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/
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing