The Huu-ay-aht First Nations have made housing one of their top priorities. A new housing development is being built in Anacla, with an estimated completion date of March 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY HUU-AY-AHT FIRST NATION)

The Huu-ay-aht First Nations have made housing one of their top priorities. A new housing development is being built in Anacla, with an estimated completion date of March 2022. (PHOTO COURTESY HUU-AY-AHT FIRST NATION)

PROGRESS 2021: Housing is a priority for central Island’s First Nations

Huu-ay-aht First Nations use multi-million-dollar grant for Anacla dwellings

This story is part of our Progress 2021 publication. You can read the special edition in its entirety on our website.

New housing is a priority for the First Nations whose territories encompass the Alberni Valley and surrounding region.

At Huu-ay-aht First Nations, a grant from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation will translate into 11 new housing units in Anacla by March 2022.

Huu-ay-aht and Uchucklesaht First Nations both received Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) grants to build homes in their respective communities. The CMHC announced a total RHI investment of nearly $7 million to build 19 units of affordable housing for B.C. First Nations under the National Housing Strategy.

Huu-ah-aht received $3.62 million for its development with the remainder going to Uchucklesaht for seven units of housing.

“We have made a commitment to our people to create a safe, healthy place to live where they can connect with the land and their culture,” Tahiti Hawil Aiisin (head Hereditary Chief Derek Peters) said in mid-May.

“A key to fulfilling this commitment is offering proper housing in our hahuuli (traditional territory), and this grant allows us to take a big step toward that goal. By doing this, we honour our sacred principles of ?iisaak (utmost respect), ?uu?aluk (taking care of) and Hisuk ma cawak (everything is one).”

Work on the units began in March 2021 and includes a fourplex, duplex and five single-family homes of varying sizes.

“This 11-unit housing project builds on the success of our 2020 housing project, and it brings our total new housing units up to 22,” Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. said.

READ: Road to recovery remains unpaved for Huu-ay-aht First Nations

“Thanks to the timely contribution from CMHC we are able to offer affordable housing to more of our citizens so they can move home and enjoy our wonderful homeland.”

Huu-ay-aht and BC Housing are also partnering to build Oomiiqsu, a 16-unit culturally appropriate Mother Centre in Port Alberni designed to keep Indigenous families together. Oomiiqsu will also offer child-care spaces, administration offices and meeting rooms.

The provincial government last week announced 47 new affordable housing projects through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. Among the projects to receive funding is one in Port Alberni, 35 homes for Indigenous Peoples at 4210 Cedarwood St., in partnership with Citaapi Mahtii Housing Society. An amount of funding was not revealed for any of the individual projects; the Community Housing Fund is an investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for moderate- and low-income families and individuals.

BamfieldFirst NationsHousing

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read