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Dze L’Kant plan to build on 11th Street in Houston

This District of Houston-owned land at 3553 11th Street could soon host a housing complex and daycare centre if plans by the Dze L’Kant Friendship Centre move ahead. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

The Dze L’Kant Friendship Centre’s plan to provide subsidized housing in Houston is part of an ambitious province-wide expansion of off- and on-reserve accommodation for Indigenous people.

Through the provincial B.C. Housing agency, a $1.7 billion program was created in 2018 to build 3,500 homes via a program called the Indigenous Housing Fund, indicates provided information from B.C. Housing.

As such, the provincial government became the first in Canada to provide money for on-reserve housing which traditionally has been the responsibility of the federal government.

The Dze L’Kant plan is to build at 3553 11th St. on 1.25 acres of land leased from the District of Houston for $1 a year.

Since 2018, more than 1,500 homes provided through the program have opened or are under construction and applications for a second round of proposals were being accepted as of December 2023.

The deadline date for applications closed May 15 and B.C. Housing is now reviewing the applications with a goal of making decisions this summer.

Dze L’Kant’s housing concept is to provide approximately 35 units.

“This second round of project proposals is expected to create approximately 1,200 homes, depending on the readiness and quality of submissions. The total budget for this second round will depend on the projects selected,” provided information from B.C. Housing stated.

Proposals are being evaluated on a set of standard criteria, including community and housing needs.

At the same time, Dze L’Kant is working on a second plan for a portion of the 3553 11 St. property and that is to build and operate a daycare.

In this circumstance the District of Houston has agreed to lease Dze L’Kant sufficient land at that location for $1 a year for 20 years.

Both the daycare facility and housing project would increase Dze L’Kant’s service visibility and presence in the community.

It already has arranged the financing and is advancing on construction plans for an administrative and program servcies building to replace its current building.

About the Author: Rod Link

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