For Immediate Release
Aug. 3, 2011
Ministry of Energy and Mines
Affordable Aboriginal housing reaches one-year anniversary
DAWSON CREEK – One year after opening, Driver House is already making a real difference to the Aboriginal Elders and families who call it home as well as to the community of Dawson Creek.
Driver House, with 25 affordable apartments, was a partnership between the Province, the City of Dawson Creek and the Dawson Creek Native Housing Society, which operates the development.
· The Province provided a capital grant of $10.4 million.
· The land was originally donated to Dawson Creek Native Housing by Lola Wall and is valued at $130,000.
· The City of Dawson Creek donated additional land adjacent to the site, estimated at $25,200.
The v-shaped building, designed to resemble an eagle in flight, contains one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The building was constructed to LEED Gold standards to increase energy efficiency and reduce its impact on the Earth.
Addressing Aboriginal housing needs is one of six priorities in the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC. The Province is creating more than 200 new off-reserve Aboriginal housing units throughout the province ,in partnership with Aboriginal housing organizations, to create culturally appropriate housing for youth, women, elders and people struggling with addiction.
Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for Peace River South –
“The Province’s investment helped provide much-needed affordable housing for seniors and families in our community. The residents of Driver House have created a home and a special community within the development that will benefit Dawson Creek well into the future. I would like to congratulate the Dawson Creek Native Housing Society for one year of success at Driver House.”
Mayor Mike Bernier, City of Dawson Creek –
“Driver House has provided safe, affordable housing for members of our Aboriginal community. Today we are celebrating the one-year anniversary. I know with the commitment the Dawson Creek Native Housing Society has to this community, we will be celebrating many more anniversaries and milestones well into the future.”
Judith Desjarlais, President, Dawson Creek Native Housing Society –
“Driver House has become a home for members of our urban Aboriginal community. Our residents have taken pride in their homes and as a result have had a positive impact on the community. Our future goal for this site is to expand and further develop it to provide more housing. I would like to thank all partners who have made these homes possible.”
· Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families in communities throughout the province. This year, more than 93,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
· In Dawson Creek, the Province will invest over $1 million this year to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements to more than 411 individuals, seniors and families.
· The Province currently subsidizes almost 3,800 Aboriginal housing units in communities throughout the province with a contribution of $38.5 million each year.
· Dawson Creek Native Housing Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1984. The mandate of the society is to construct, manage, provide and maintain affordable rental housing for low-income persons of Aboriginal ancestry in Dawson Creek. The society currently manages 53 single-family units scattered throughout Dawson Creek.
· For information on provincial housing programs: www.bchousing.org
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect