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$10.8M for affordable Indigenous housing in B.C. Interior

FILE PHOTO - Over $10 million for affordable housing for Interior Indigenous communities is part of $500 million in federal Rapid Housing Initiative funding.

Three Interior Indigenous communities will have 34 new affordable housing units built with new funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

With $10.8 million in federal Rapid Housing Initiative funding, the 34 new homes will be spread among the Splatsin Nation, Shackan Indian Band and Tk'emlups te Secwepemc, according to a CMHC news release.

“Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc welcomes Canada’s investment into our community so that we can build 10 units of affordable housing for low-income Elders on TteS lands," Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir said in the release. "Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is also looking forward to the potential job creation that this project will have for members."

Funding applications in the $500 million pool were open until the end of 2020 to provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and non-profits.

Nearly 40% of all Rapid Housing units have been targeted toward Indigenous peoples.

“Improving Indigenous housing outcomes must be a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why First Nations are a priority group under our government’s National Housing Strategy, and why we are working with Indigenous partners to build rapid housing," said Adam Vaugh, parliamentary secretary to the families, children and social development minister.

Chief Wayne Christian of the Splatsin Nation welcomes the ten new units coming to the Nicola Valley community, but says it's still not enough.

“We have not built homes in our community for over 20 years and our population continues to grow. Homes are critical to the health and well-being of members of Splatsin. Many community members are unable to come back to their community due to no available housing," Christian said.

He said there are around 30 families on a list for on-reserve housing.

The federal government allocated an additional $1.5 billion in this year's budget for rapid housing, tripling the initial targets to create 9,200 affordable units across the country, CMHC said.

The federal government's housing strategy is a 10-year plan, with over $70 billion in funding.

CMHC plans to make housing affordable for all Canadians by 2030.

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