Construction has begun on 39 new affordable rental homes for Indigenous people in Cranbrook through a partnership between the City, Aqattanam Housing Society and the Province.

The building, named the  Chief Agnes McCoy Centre, is a three-story wood-frame building on 619  Sixth Street NW. The 24 one-bedroom units will be available for $544 per month, $660 per month for one of the 12 two-bedroom apartments, while it’s three-bedroom units will cost $821 per month.

The Aqanttanam Housing society provided the land for the project and will operate and own the building. The Province will contribute $7.8 million through the Indigenous Housing Fund, an annual operating subsidy of approximately $24,000, as well as financing the construction. A $454,200 grant from the Columbia Basin Trust has also been added to the project.

“Many Indigenous people don’t have access to the affordable housing they need,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Reconciliation means continuing to work in partnership with Indigenous leaders, Indigenous housing providers and First Nations to build much-needed new, affordable homes like these for Indigenous peoples across B.C.”

The Province said this housing project is part of the first series of projects selected to receive funding through the Indigenous Housing Fund.

“This is a great project serving a huge need in our community. Our vacancy rate has been at a critical stage for some time and this will help alleviate some of that, “said Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt. “Affordable housing is an issue throughout the province, and the City of Cranbrook is thankful the Aqanttanam Housing Society recognized this and was chosen to receive support. We are also very thankful to Columbia Basin Trust for its support.”

Construction began in September of 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020.

Housing can be applied for through B.C. Housing’s registry.