The Aqanttanam Housing Society’s 39-unit complex on Hurry Avenue has officially wrapped up construction and will be open to Indigenous families, elders, and individuals, as well as other low-income or homeless people in need.

Officially located at 520 B Hurry Avenue NW, the “Chief Agnes McCoy Centre” is a three-storey wood-frame building providing one, two, and three-bedroom homes for rent. The building is now occupied as families moved in last month, paying rents from $555 for a one-bedroom unit to $838 for a three-bedroom unit.

“The new centre will house Indigenous and non-Indigenous low-income and homeless individuals, couples and families needing affordable housing,” said Cecilia Teneese, Executive Director of the Aqanttanam Housing Society. “Our Aqanttanam Housing Society mission statement is to provide suitable affordable housing for low-income households and the completion of Chief Agnes McCoy has helped us to achieve that.”

The building’s namesake honours Agnes McCoy, a well respected Chief and Elder from Aq’am. McCoy was also one of the founders of the Aqanttanam Housing Society, which will now oversee the building’s day-to-day operations.

Together, the housing complex was a partnership of the Aqanttanam Housing Society, the B.C. Government, Columbia Basin Trust, and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.

The B.C. Government provided $7.8-million for the project through the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, which is a 10-year, $550-million investment to build 1,750 new homes on and off-reserve. Columbia Basin Trust provided a $454,200 grant for the housing project while the Aqanttanam Housing Society provided the land, valued at $520,000.

“These new homes will provide much-needed affordable housing, thanks to the partnership offered by urban Indigenous peoples and leadership demonstrated by the City of Cranbrook,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.

“The city has been experiencing a housing shortage for many years. Affordable housing and accommodation have been a large part of that shortage,” added Lee Pratt, Mayor of Cranbrook. “We are very pleased and appreciative to the partners and stakeholders who have built this very nice complex serving that very need. We have worked on a number of projects with Aqanttanam Housing Society with great success.”

The Chief Agnes McCoy Centre in Cranbrook offers 39-affordable housing units to the community. The housing complex officially opened to residents in January. (Bradley Jones, MyEastKootenayNow.com staff)