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UPDATE – Residents Now Moving Into New Affordable Housing on Tzeachten First Nation

Tzeachten First Nation – UPDATE – JUNE 23, 2022 – Indigenous families and individuals have started moving into new affordable homes with the opening of a 23-unit rental housing development on the Tzeachten First Nation reserve.

Construction started in May 2021.

“On behalf of Tzeachten First Nation, my hands go up to all the partners involved in this milestone project for Tzeachten and our membership,” said Chief Derek Epp, Tzeachten First Nation. “Affordable housing is and continues to be a need for so many of our communities. Being able to begin to meet the housing needs of our community will have lasting positive impacts for so many of our families. We are proud to continue to progress as a community and are thankful for the true government-to-government partnership that ultimately led to the success of Tzeachten’s affordable housing project.”

Located at 46600 La:lem Way, the development has a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes spread across five buildings. Monthly rents will range from $375 to $1,355, depending on unit size and tenant household income. The housing will be operated by the Property and Public Works department of Tzeachten First Nation, which has 18 years of experience managing housing and commercial buildings for the community.

“I’m thrilled to see the doors open on these new homes, which will help local Indigenous families stay close to their community where their families and friends surround them,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “Our government will continue to work in partnership to build homes like these across the province, to ease the burden on families and help make life better and more affordable.”

The new homes are located near the Tzeachten Sports Field Complex, which offers a community garden, playground, sports field, clubhouse and multi-purpose rooms. The site is part of a broader community vision that will see more housing added in the future.

The Province provided approximately $2.5 million to the project through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, while the First Nations Finance Authority provided about $5.5 million in low-cost construction financing. An additional provincial grant of approximately $300,000 was provided through the Investment in Housing Innovation Fund.

Tzeachten First Nation contributed the land for the project, valued at $3 million, as well as $1.5 million toward the construction of the development. Indigenous Services Canada contributed $1.8 million to build a road to the site. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided a grant of $138,000 for predevelopment costs.

This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 34,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in British Columbia, including more than 400 homes in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove:

“Thanks to Chief Epp’s leadership and the hard work of everyone involved, this important project will go a long way toward supporting the affordable housing needs of Tzeachten First Nation families. Congratulations to both Tzeachten First Nation and BC Housing on the grand opening of 23 new affordable homes.”

Ernie Daniels, President and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority:

“FNFA is honoured to partner with Tzeachten First Nation and BC Housing on this housing project. This type of forward thinking clearly demonstrates the commitment to reconciliation and closing the housing and infrastructure gap that exists in First Nations. We are stronger together when solutions are developed with our communities needs in mind.”

Tzeachten First Nation/Province of BC/Kelli Paddon/June 2022
Tzeachten First Nation/Province of BC/May 2021

ORIGINAL STORY MAY 6, 2021 – New affordable rental homes are on the way for Indigenous peoples in Chilliwack, with construction starting on 23 homes on the Tzeachten First Nation reserve.

“These much-needed homes will help more Tzeachten First Nation members stay in their community, close to their friends and family,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent. “Our government is proud to be working in partnership with Indigenous communities to deliver the safe and secure homes that Indigenous peoples need across B.C.”

Located at 46600 La:lem Way, the project will provide rental homes for Indigenous individuals and families with moderate and low incomes. The development will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes across five buildings.

“Tzeachten First Nation is honoured to partner with BC Housing to provide affordable housing to our membership,” said Chief Derek Epp, Tzeachten First Nation. “Tzeachten has contributed approximately $4.5 million towards the project to provide an opportunity for our members to return home and continue to thrive in our community.”

The project site was selected due to its proximity to the Tzeachten Sports Field Complex, which offers a community garden, playground, sports field, clubhouse and multipurpose rooms. The site is part of a broader community vision that will add more housing in the future.

The housing will be operated by the Property and Public Works department of Tzeachten First Nation, which has 18 years of experience managing housing and commercial buildings for the community.

The Province is providing approximately $2.5 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, as well as about $5.5 million in low-cost construction financing through the First Nations Finance Authority. An additional provincial grant of approximately $300,000 is being provided through the Investment in Housing Innovation Fund.

Tzeachten First Nation contributed the land, valued at $3 million for the project, as well as $1.5 million toward the construction of the development. Indigenous Services Canada contributed $1.8 million to build a road to the site. The Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation provided a grant of $138,000 for predevelopment costs.

The new homes are expected to open in early summer 2022.

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