The provincial government says 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 — the furthest north project in BC Housing history.
The project provides 16 new homes, including six units of women's transition housing for women and children in need of a safe home, and 10 units of supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the other.
"So many of us see the need for affordable housing that has been talked about for many years,” said Chief Harlan Schilling, Chief Councillor of the Daylu Dena Council, in a statement.
“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."
The project is a partnership between the Province through BC Housing and the Daylu Dena Council.
The Lower Post First Nation Housing Society will manage the building and provide support services, such as daily meals, wellness supports and referrals to health services. Residents will also have access to teachings from Elders and programming that focuses on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, the province said.
All units will have a private washroom and mini kitchen. Shared amenities include a laundry room, commercial kitchen, and a dining lounge where residents can enjoy meals together. The building also has a medical room to provide on-site care for residents.
The province says it is providing the project with more than $5.1 million through the Women's Transitional Housing Fund and $6 million through the Supportive Housing Fund, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $408,000.
The province says the housing 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, and access to services is difficult, the province said. 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 province said.
"Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives, and everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home," said Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson. "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."
Construction is anticipated to be complete in fall 2021.
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