The province is funding 16 new affordable rental homes on Okanagan Indian Band land. (Pixabay photo).

The province is funding 16 new affordable rental homes on Okanagan Indian Band land. (Pixabay photo).

Province backs Okanagan Indian Band’s affordable housing project

16 new homes to be built on reserve thanks to $1.7M investment

Sixteen affordable rental homes are coming to Okanagan Indian Band land.

The project consists of four two-storey buildings situation at Head of Lake Road.

Incorporating culturally appropriate design elements to showcase OKIB’s culture, this development will provide rental homes for Indigenous peoples and small families with moderate and low incomes.

“Housing is always in short supply on reserve so the additional fourplex units will certainly ease the housing situation,” OKIB Chief Byron Louis said.

“The additional housing will meet immediate needs while providing longer-term options for people who live on reserve and also for people who want to move back to the reserve,” he said. “Housing helps bring the community closer together, which helps to preserve our culture and our unity. This housing will help on many fronts.”

The province is contributing $1.7 million from the Community Housing Fund while the OKIB is providing the land and will own and operate the building.

“Our government is proud to be working with the Okanagan Indian Band to help support their goal of increasing the number of members living in their community,” Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu said.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous organizations and First Nations to build homes like these to ensure that Indigenous peoples can live in their communities, surrounded by their culture.”

The new homes are expected to be move-in ready by spring 2022.

British Columbia is Canada’s first province to invest funding into on-reserve housing, which falls under the federal jurisdictions. B.C. has also opened its provincial housing programs to First Nations.

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