New affordable rental homes are on the way for Indigenous peoples in Chilliwack, with construction starting on 23 homes on the Tzeachten First Nation reserve.
“These much-needed homes will help more Tzeachten First Nation members stay in their community, close to their friends and family,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “Our government is proud to be working in partnership with Indigenous communities to deliver the safe and secure homes that Indigenous peoples need across B.C.”
Located at 46600 La:lem Way, the project will provide rental homes for Indigenous individuals and families with moderate and low incomes. The development will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes across five buildings.
“Tzeachten First Nation is honoured to partner with BC Housing to provide affordable housing to our membership,” said Chief Derek Epp, Tzeachten First Nation. “Tzeachten has contributed approximately $4.5 million towards the project to provide an opportunity for our members to return home and continue to thrive in our community.”
The project site was selected due to its proximity to the Tzeachten Sports Field Complex, which offers a community garden, playground, sports field, clubhouse and multipurpose rooms. The site is part of a broader community vision that will add more housing in the future.
The housing will be operated by the Property and Public Works department of Tzeachten First Nation, which has 18 years of experience managing housing and commercial buildings for the community.
The Province is providing approximately $2.5 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, as well as about $5.5 million in low-cost construction financing through the First Nations Finance Authority. An additional provincial grant of approximately $300,000 is being provided through the Investment in Housing Innovation Fund.
Tzeachten First Nation contributed the land, valued at $3 million for the project, as well as $1.5 million toward the construction of the development. Indigenous Services Canada contributed $1.8 million to build a road to the site. The Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation provided a grant of $138,000 for predevelopment costs.
The new homes are expected to open in early summer 2022.
Marc Miller, federal Minister of Indigenous Services –
“Housing is a fundamental need for all Canadians, and today’s groundbreaking paves the way to better access to adequate, safe housing for the community. The Government of Canada is pleased to have contributed $1.8 million for the construction of a road that will provide access to the Tzeachten First Nation affordable housing project.”
Ken Popove, mayor, City of Chilliwack –
“Under Chief Epp’s leadership, Tzeachten First Nation has been working diligently for several years to bring this new housing project to their community. Congratulations to both Tzeachten First Nation and BC Housing on this exciting announcement, which will provide affordable housing options to Tzeachten First Nation members.”
Ernie Daniels, president and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) –
“The First Nations Finance Authority applauds Tzeachten First Nation for the work it has accomplished to begin building homes in their community. This is a prime example of how First Nations can build partnerships and utilize the advantages of FNFA membership. We hope that this financing model with multiple funders can be an option available for First Nations in other provinces and territories across Canada, so affordable housing can become a reality for our communities.”
- The Community Housing Fund is part of the Province’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan.
- The fund is an investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for low- and moderate-income families and individuals over 10 years.
- More than 6,100 of these homes are already open, under construction or in development across the province.
- The Community Housing Fund supports mixed-income buildings where 50% of the units are for households with annual incomes up to $64,000, 30% of the units are for households with incomes up to approximately $74,000 and 20% of the units are for households with very low incomes (including those on income or disability assistance).
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/