The B.C. government is stepping up efforts to build more affordable homes for Indigenous peoples in Colwood and Langford.
The government recently announced that the Vancouver Aboriginal Land Trust will receive $24.8 million in capital funding to help build a 124-unit Indigenous housing project at 342 Wale Rd. in Colwood. Another $8 million is earmarked for the M’akola Housing Society for 40 housing units for Indigenous singles and families at 731 Station Ave. in Langford. Both projects are expected to be completed within two to four years.
Mitzi Dean, NDP MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin said in a statement that she is proud of the government’s efforts to work with Indigenous partners to develop housing that meets the needs of Indigenous communities. “People across British Columbia are struggling to access safe and affordable homes, but Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by our housing crisis.”
The new units are part of the first series of homes selected through the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, which will provide $550 million to build 1,750 new units of affordable housing for Indigenous peoples in 26 communities throughout the province during the next 10 years. The first homes selected include 780 off-reserve homes and 370 homes on reserves.
Selina Robinson, BC Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said the housing situation facing Indigenous people in the province is unacceptable. “Through these homes, we are working together with First Nations, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association and Indigenous Housing Provides to take an important step toward addressing this critical need in every corner of the province.”
The announcement took place on the Katzie First Nation reserve in Pitt Meadows, which will receive $7.8 million for 39 on-reserve housing units for Indigenous, youth, Elders and families.