Work has begun on a new $8.3-million affordable housing project, a partnership between Cowichan Tribes and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, that will see 32 new housing units constructed near Boys Road.
Trucks began arriving early in the morning of July 15 carrying the modular parts of the 16-plex, 10-plex and six-plex complexes that are to be constructed, and the first building was well on the way by the early afternoon.
The housing project, which will see Cowichan Tribes contributing $4.3 million and CMHC contributing $4 million, will be the largest complex built so far by Cowichan Tribes.
Twenty of the units will be used for housing department rentals and 12 units for Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Child and Family Services to support young moms and youth as they age out of care.
“These new units allow us to wrap our arms around youth and young moms aging out of care,” said Denise Orpen, Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem’s executive director.
“This is more than a housing project. In addition to the one-bedroom units, these residents will also gain life skills and supports through onsite connections and programming.”
Located on Daniels Crescent near Boys Road, the project is expected to be complete and ready for occupancy by April, 2022.
Dana Thorne, Cowichan Tribes’ associate director of housing, said the lack of available housing continues to be a major issue for the Cowichan Tribes community.
Statistics from the First Nation indicate that the current wait list for housing includes 711 applications, representing more than 2,157 people.
“This is an exciting project that allows us to provide additional units to our housing rental stock,” said Thorne.
“Cowichan Tribes has a lot of members, including elders, who could use smaller, more affordable units. We are grateful for this partnership with CHMC to not only provide more housing options in our community, but also bring together elders, youth and young moms in this affordable housing project.”
Rebecca MacMurchy, the special projects coordinator for the project, said Cowichan Tribes is pleased to have Nexus Global Building Systems Inc. as the prime contractor for the project.
“Additionally, Cowichan member-owned and operated businesses Porlier Pass Contractors, Matt T Excavating and RavenStone Construction have been instrumental in bringing this project to life,” she said.
“This housing project will work to address the immediate, dire need for affordable housing in our community.”