09:32 AM

Province preserves off-reserve housing in Massett

MASSETT - First Nation Elders, seniors and workers from Old Massett and Masset villages will soon have access to 12 renovated homes following the Province's purchase, through BC Housing, of 1545 Wallace St.

"By purchasing 1545 Wallace St., we will provide safe and affordable housing to our community members during the ongoing housing crisis," said Chief Councillor Donald Edgars, Old Masset Village Council. "The apartments will be renovated to provide future tenants with a higher quality of living. We are proud of the work we are doing with partners like BC Housing to improve our community."

Old Massett Village Council will own and operate the two-storey building, which includes six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units to provide much-needed off-reserve homes. The villages of Old Massett and Masset are located near to each other on the northern shore of Graham Island, the largest and northernmost island of Haida Gwaii.

"We've purchased this building so that people can continue to live affordably, close to family, community and culture," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Preserving and improving affordable housing in both rural and urban communities is an important part of our government's housing plan and today's announcement is the latest milestone in work to deliver homes for people."

Eight of the 12 units will be operated as near-market rental housing geared to middle-income households. The remaining four units will be for families with low incomes, with rents set at 30% of the household's income.

"I am proud that our government took action to secure these affordable rental homes in Massett so they can be preserved for the long term," said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. "These homes provide a sense of well-being and a place for many to call home, and we will continue to work with Indigenous partners to build on- and off-reserve housing."

The Province, through BC Housing, is providing $4 million to purchase and renovate the vacant building. Renovations are needed since many of the building's components have reached the end of their service life. Residents are expected to start moving into their new homes when renovations are completed in late 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 nearly 2,000 homes in northern B.C.

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