Workers begin construction of a new $8.3 million housing project, a partnership between Cowichan Tribes and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, that will provide 32 new affordable housing units. (Submitted photo)

Cowichan Tribes partners with Ottawa for 32 new affordable housing units

$8.3-million project will provide 32 new affordable housing units

Cowichan Tribes is partnering with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on a $8.3-million housing project that will provide 32 new affordable housing units.

Cowichan Tribes will contribute $4.3 million and CMHC is contributing $4 million.

The 16-plex, 10-plex and six-plex will be the largest complex built by Cowichan Tribes.

Twenty of the units will be used for housing department rentals and 12 units for Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem to support young moms and youth as they age out of care.

“These new units allow us to wrap our arms around youth and young moms aging out of care,” said Denise Orpen, executive director of Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem.

“This is more than a housing project. In addition to the one-bedroom units, these residents will also gain life skills and supports through on site connections and programming.”

The new housing complexes will have common areas to host workshops and other activities to help build community amongst the youth, young moms and elders.

The project is also designed to be Step-4 energy efficient, which means minimal heating costs for residents.

Located on Daniels Crescent near Boys Road, the project is expected to be complete and ready for occupancy in April, 2022.

“This is an exciting project that allows us to provide additional units to our housing rental stock,” said Dana Thorne, associate director of housing for the Cowichan Tribes.

“Cowichan Tribes has a lot of members, including elders, who could use smaller, more affordable units. We are grateful for this partnership with CMHC to not only provide more housing options in our community, but also bring together elders, youth and young moms in this affordable housing project.”

Ahmed Hussen, minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the minister responsible for CMHC, added that the federal government is taking steps to ensure that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home.

“Investments with our First Nations communities in British Columbia under the Rapid Housing Initiative will go a long way to effectively support those who need it most by quickly providing 32 new affordable housing units to vulnerable individuals and families,” he said.

“This is one of the ways our government’s National Housing Strategy addresses the unique barriers faced by communities such as First Nations across Canada. Together, we will continue to provide affordable housing for those who need it most from coast to coast to coast.”

Cowichan Valley Citizen