Construction is underway on a new Indigenous housing project for women and children and for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Lower Post, thanks to a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, and the Daylu Dena Council.
“Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives, and everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home,” said Doug Donaldson, MLA for Stikine. “This new housing will provide an opportunity for Daylu Dena members living elsewhere to move back to their community and connect with their friends, family and culture.”
The development will provide 16 new homes in two separate, secure wings:
- six units of women’s transition housing for women and children in need of a safe home (including two short-term shelter units and four units of longer-term transition housing) in one wing; and
- 10 units of supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the other.
All units will have a private washroom and mini kitchen. Shared amenities in each wing include a laundry room, commercial kitchen and a dining lounge area where residents can enjoy meals together. The building also has a medical room to provide on-site care for residents.
The Lower Post First Nation Housing Society will manage the building and provide residents with support services, such as daily meals, wellness supports and referrals to health services. In addition, residents will have access to teachings from Elders and programming that focuses on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. At least two staff members will be on site 24/7.
“Thank you, BC Housing, for this new affordable housing,” said Chief Harlan Schilling, Chief Councillor, Daylu Dena Council. “So many of us see the need for affordable housing that has been talked about for many years. BC Housing is living up to its mission of developing safe, permanently affordable housing for people in northern B.C. Thank you. It will help the community of Lower Post to meet our needs now and will be there for future generations.”
This project is located further north than any project BC Housing has ever built and is the first development in climate zone 8. The remote community has a population of approximately 170 people. Access to services is difficult. Due to the shortage of appropriate housing, some members of the Daylu Dena Nation are living elsewhere in the region and are interested in returning to the community when adequate housing is available.
The land on which the housing will be built is owned by The North West Company. It will be leased to BC Housing at $1 per year for 30 years and is renewable on the same terms at its expiry.
“North West is pleased to have been given the opportunity to play a role in this important project,” said Mike Beaulieu, vice -president of Canadian store operations for The North West Company. “Shortage of affordable housing in Indigenous communities is a problem we see across Canada. We are excited to be able to contribute the land that will enable construction of 16 new homes and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes this project will have on the community.”
Construction is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between the B.C. government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province is providing more than $5.1 million through the Women’s Transitional Housing Fund and approximately $6 million through the Supportive Housing Fund to the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $408,000.
- North Point Construction was selected by the Province to manufacture these homes, supporting jobs and boosting the local economy.
- Iyon Kechika Contracting Ltd., which is owned by Daylu Dena Council, will provide some of the sub-contractor services.
For more information on how BC Housing is supporting British Columbians during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19/
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.