(Photo rendering of new housing unit to be built on 342 Wale Rd)

A new 124-unit rental building is slated for construction this summer, and will house Indigenous families and individuals in Colwood.

The property, to be located at 342 Wale Rd, will be built by the BC provincial government in partnership with the Aboriginal Land Trust Society (ALT), Huu-ay-aht First Nations, and the City of Colwood.

“Pending permit approvals, construction is expected to start this summer and be complete by spring 2021,” Darren Harbord, spokesperson for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, told Victoria Buzz.

According to Harbord, final rental unit rates have not been determined yet. However prices will be tied to income, meaning that tenants will pay about 30% of their gross household income income on rent.

Yellowridge Construction will be developing the building, while management and tenant selection for these new affordable housing units will be overseen by the Aboriginal Land Trust Society (ALT) and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin speaking at the announcement event

“We know from our intensive work to address long-standing housing issues in B.C. that the struggle to find a good home can be even greater for Indigenous peoples who are overwhelmingly over-represented among people in B.C. experiencing homelessness,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, in a statement.

“That’s why we are partnering with Indigenous organizations and municipalities throughout the province to build the homes that Indigenous families need in our community and at prices they can afford.”

This initiative is receiving funding from the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, a 10-year, $550-million investment to build and operate 1,750 new units of social housing, on- and off-reserve in B.C.

In December 2018, the province announced a plan to add 40 additional housing units to the 60 under construction at the M’akloa Housing Society’s Station Avenue development in Langford.

BC’s budget plan launched last year allotted more than $7 billion over 10 years for the creation of 114,000 new, affordable homes across the province.

1,100 of these units are to be built in the Capital Regional District.

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