The Wuikinuxv-Kitasoo-Nuxalk Tribal Council (WKNTC) and BC Housing have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the goal of improving the quality of existing on-reserve housing.
“Housing remains a huge challenge in all of our communities, and the WKNTC has put a lot of effort into developing these collaborative strategies with the federal and provincial governments and BC Housing,” said Chief Samuel Schooner, Nuxalk Nation, on behalf of the WKNTC. “We know that the solutions need to come from within, and we are happy that the governments and BC Housing are recognizing and supporting our vision for building homes that will sustain our community members for generations to come.”
Under the three-year agreement, signed by WKNTC Chiefs, BC Housing and David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, at the B.C. Legislature, BC Housing and the WKNTC will work together by sharing best practices and knowledge to create a Nation-specific housing management and maintenance plan.
“Reconciliation means getting out into communities and supporting Nations with what they need,” said Eby. “This MOU will enable BC Housing to share expertise and tools with the Tribal Council so that the Tribal Council can expand and enhance their work in supporting the development of well-maintained, safe and affordable housing. The new partnership represented by this MOU will build capacity and experience for both BC Housing and the Nations, which is one of the most exciting aspects of this important agreement.”
BC Housing will collaborate with WKNTC senior leadership and provide training and education to strengthen expertise within the member Nations to manage their supply of housing over the long term.
“This partnership will provide an opportunity for the WKNTC and BC Housing to work together to share knowledge and best practices to make on-reserve housing better for all member Nations,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Our government is committed to working with Indigenous partners to build and improve housing that will help grow healthy communities.”
The WKNTC will work to maintain housing that meets or exceeds industry standards for safety, durability, accessibility, healthy living and energy efficiency. The tribal council will also work to secure third-party capital funding for on-reserve housing renewal and to support culturally appropriate economic, social and environmentally sustainable housing.
- The Wuikinuxv-Kitasoo-Nuxalk Tribal Council is an intergovernmental organization and forum where three member Nations (Wuikinuxv Nation, Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation and Nuxalk Nation) can deliberate to finds ways to co-operate where needed and appropriate.
- In addition to working with First Nations to improve existing housing, the Province’s Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund provides $550 million over 10 years to build 1,750 units of social housing for Indigenous Peoples on- and off-reserve.
- With this commitment, B.C. became the first province in Canada to invest provincial funds in on-reserve housing, which is a federal jurisdiction. More than 1,300 of these homes are complete or underway.
- In June 2021, the Province announced more than 1,000 new affordable rental homes for Indigenous Peoples through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.