The Ta’an Kwäch’än Council has announced plans to develop 24 townhouses along with another 24 single detached lots on its settlement land in Whistle Bend and Porter Creek.
In its announcement, the First Nation said the project will transform the two parcels into two small subdivisions with the 20-hectare Whistle Bend site northeast of Witch Hazel Drive to be home to the townhouse development, and the Porter Creek site on Birch Road to be subdivided into 24 lots that will accommodate single family homes.
It’s anticipated residents would begin moving into the new homes in 2024.
“This is a huge step for us,” Chief Amanda Leas said. “For years we have known the need is there and I am very encouraged we are moving forward. Our families come in many different shapes and sizes, so we are hoping to ensure everyone in need will benefit from these new initiatives.
“Like the rest of Canada, we have a growing number of elders and citizens reaching retirement age. We also have young growing families and single citizens in need. All those dynamics will be considered as we design and develop these neighbourhoods. It is an extremely exciting time.”
The development follows a 2020 resolution by the First Nation which declared a state of emergency for housing and established the lack of “reasonably priced” housing for Ta’an citizens as the First Nation’s top priority.
Leas also made housing her top priority in the October 2021 election campaign.
She said she’s confident the plans to build 24 townhouses and open up lots for single family development will result in the majority of those needing housing being able to access safe, affordable homes in the Ta’an Kwäch’än’s traditional territory.
The First Nation is finalizing policies to determine the process for the new homes and lots will be allocated.
That work will include creating a housing database and registry, an initiative that will also create jobs for members of the First Nation as well as other First Nation contractors, it was noted.
Funding for the housing projects is coming through self-government agreements as well as federal, territorial and municipal housing programs.
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