Squamish Nation Council approves the development of a housing authority to increase the number of housing units for its members
August 10th, 2018, North Vancouver – The Squamish Nation Council on August 9th, 2018 approved the exploration and development of an independent housing authority for the Squamish Nation.
First Nations Housing Authorities are becoming a way for First Nations to improve the management and development of new housing for its members both on- and off-reserve. Housing Authorities typically are run by an independent board of directors who are experts in the field of property management, housing development, and tenancy issues. The Squamish Nation Council has approved a work-plan with a committee to explore the development of a housing authority.
Over the next six months, this committee will work with Council, staff, and Nation members to design a mission, vision, and values, as well as a unique name, for this housing authority. This work will guide the decision making of the housing authority’s board of directors. The committee members include Councillors Joyce Williams, Kristen Rivers, Wilson Williams, Chris Lewis, and Khelsilem. Additionally, it will work with experts in housing authority development and consult Squamish Nation members on what kind of governance structure this board of directors would best serve the values and principles of the community.
The mandate for the development of this housing authority is for it to focus on new social housing and affordable rental but remain separate from the existing housing allocation program of single detached houses.
The development of this Squamish Nation Housing Authority comes in response to the new federal and provincial funding opportunities for First Nations Housing. $1.04 billion to be spent on Indigenous housing by the federal government between 2018 and 2023 and $550 million to be spent on Indigenous housing by the provincial government between 2018 and 2028. The housing authority would work with federal and provincial partners to create more housing for the Squamish People.
The Housing Authority will develop more transitional housing, supportive housing for singles, elders, students, those with disabilities, and non-market subsidized housing. The targets of these housing units would be for very low income, low income, and low-to-moderate income households in Squamish Valley and North Vancouver.
More information will be coming in the months ahead on this exciting initiative to get moving on more housing for the Squamish Nation community.
Sxwchálten / X̱elsílem
Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson