Construction is underway on 40 new homes for Indigenous families, individuals and Elders in Langford through a partnership between the Province, M’akola Housing Society and the City of Langford.
“Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives, and everyone in our community deserves a safe, secure and affordable home,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “With these new homes, more Indigenous peoples in Langford will have the peace of mind that comes from having good housing in their community, surrounded by their friends, family and culture.”
Located at 731 Station Ave., Phase 1 of the project is complete and consists of 60 homes in a six-storey wood-frame apartment building. The building features a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. Monthly rents range from $375 to $1,500 per month. Residents will begin moving in on July 15, 2020.
The ground floor of the building includes office space for two Indigenous non-profit societies: Indigenous development consulting firm M’akola Development Services, and Hulitan Family and Community Services Society. The latter offers culturally sensitive services and programs for Indigenous youth and families.
Construction is now underway on Phase 2 of the project, which will be a six-storey wood-frame apartment building with 40 homes. The building will include a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units with monthly rents not exceeding 30% of household income. Phase 2 is expected to be complete in fall 2021.
“M’akola Housing Society and M’akola Development Services are headquartered in the City of Langford, and we want to acknowledge the city’s instrumental support of affordable housing,” said Kevin Albers, CEO, M’akola Housing Society and M’akola Development Services. “This project is a beautiful display of the value of strategic partnerships and how they benefit the community. We have created a space providing safe, affordable homes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous families through BC Housing, a purpose-built office space for Hulitan providing Indigenous family services, and M’akola Development Services, which specializes in developing affordable housing across B.C. and providing career opportunities for Indigenous professionals.”
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Stewart Young, mayor, City of Langford –
“I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of M’akola for its continued dedication to providing quality housing to Langford residents. We have been working with M’akola since the 1980s and have seen the efforts of M’akola change many lives. We are proud to support this project. It’s one of the best-looking buildings in Langford.”
Kendra Gage, executive director, Hulitan Family and Community Services Society –
“The partnership between Hulitan and M’akola allows us to offer service provision in the same building where families live. Sometimes housing alone isn't enough to keep families together, and without the relationship with M’akola, this wouldn’t be possible. This project is a demonstration of Indigenous ways of being, it’s about relationships and community, and we know M’akola shares the same values as us, and together we will provide much-needed services to families in Langford.”
Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) –
“AHMA is grateful for our members M’akola Group of Societies for ensuring Indigenous housing vulnerabilities are met through Indigenous community-led solutions. Not only has Kevin Albers and his team at M’akola created 60 new affordable homes, but they have established a community that will provide culturally relevant programs, services and practices that will honour Indigenous traditions, values and history. Indigenous housing is more than putting roofs over heads – it’s about creating a welcome place for every Indigenous person to belong to, and M’akola has successfully achieved that here in Langford at 731 Station Ave. AHMA looks forward to the completion of Phase 2 and welcoming more future residents to the community.”
- The Province is providing $8 million through the Indigenous Housing Fund, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $430,000, toward Phase 2 of the Station Avenue project.
- The City of Langford provided approximately $400,000 in municipal waivers.
- M’akola Housing Society provided the land valued at approximately $1.4 million and $750,000 in equity.
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.