Tla’amin Nation has broken ground on a 24-unit housing block to provide dignified and affordable housing for elders and community members with unique needs.
According to a media release from Tla’amin, in a ceremony led by elder John Louie and witnessed by elders, leadership, staff and community members, the future site of ƛaχƛaχay ʔaye (Elder’s Place) was blessed. The release stated that tobacco was laid, and the nation asked for forgiveness for disturbing the ground and prayed for safety of the workers who will construct the new housing complex.
Elder Elsie Paul offered the prayer and culture manager Drew Blaney shared a song.
The $11 million facility is designed for independent living and will have eight two-bedroom and 16 one-bedroom units when it comes online in early 2023, according to the release.
“Our citizens have asked us to prioritize safe and affordable housing, especially for those who need and deserve it the most,” stated hegus John Hackett. “I would like to extend my gratitude to all who have made this possible, especially our elders committee, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and all our leadership past and present.”
The project will be funded with an $8.8 million grant from the CMHC rapid housing initiative and $2.2 million from the Tla’amin government.
Other major partners in the project include Tla’amin Health, Luma Development, Urban Arts Architecture and Converge Construction.
At least four of the new units will be fully wheelchair-accessible, with lowered countertops and in-suite lifts.
“Aging comfortably in the community has been a longtime vision of our elders,” stated Dillon Johnson, Tla’amin executive councillor responsible for housing and public works. “These 24 independent living units are only the beginning; planning for the creation of assisted living accommodations is already under way.”
The 24-unit housing block will be constructed in the neighbourhood of the Tla'amin Health Centre and Salish Centre on Tla'amin Nation lands.