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Construction starts on new Vernon homes for Indigenous people

DCN-JOC News Services
Construction starts on new Vernon homes for Indigenous people

VERNON, B.C. – Construction has begun on a 35-unit housing development to address affordability and accessibility needs of Indigenous individuals, Elders and families in Vernon, B.C.

The five-storey building will be located at 5577 27 Ave. and will have a variety of studio to four-bedroom affordable rental homes for Indigenous people with moderate and low incomes. Nine of the homes will be accessible to people with disabilities.

“We know there’s a significant need to build more affordable and accessible homes for Indigenous peoples in Vernon. Our government will continue to work with First Nations and Indigenous housing partners to deliver projects like this, on and off reserve, in communities throughout the province,” B.C. MLA for Vernon-Monashee Harwinder Sandhu said in a statement.

The site is located next to Thunderbird Manor, which provides 38 rental homes for Indigenous people in the community. The new project will be owned and operated by Vernon Native Housing Society.

“Our board and staff would like to thank BC Housing, the City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan for their contributions. These partnerships are crucial to increasing the supply of affordable housing in our community. This new building is adding not only affordable housing for our urban Indigenous peoples, but also addressing the lack of accessible housing in our area. We are proud to be a part of the solution,” Vernon Native Housing Society president Val Chiba stated.

The Province of B.C. is providing a grant of approximately $7.6 million for project construction under the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, as well as annual operating funding of about $413,000. The City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan will contribute $382,000 annually to the project by offsetting regional and municipal development costs.

The housing is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2023.


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