Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why the Government of Canada partnered with the Government of British Columbia, the City of Kamloops, Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society (LMO), among others, to build new affordable housing options for Indigenous youth and elders in Kamloops.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) celebrated the official opening of Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging, a project that received federal financial support of $1.7 million. It is significant that this announcement take place on November 16th, a day that honours the legacy of a great Metis Leader, Louis Riel. In keeping with Louis Riel’s vision for a just society that respects the integrity of all People, Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging, is a place where Indigenous youth and Elders will experience safe, supported and affordable housing in an environment where their culture and traditional teachings are honoured.
The development by LMO is a two-storey building designed to accommodate 31 studio and one-bedroom apartments with shared common rooms on each floor and a common laundry and kitchen space. Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging is a pioneering project — co-housing elders with youth will create a community support network, and will be the focal point for the development of elder-youth relationships.
On-site support services will provide tenants with access to Indigenous Youth Outreach Workers, Social Workers, and Cultural Workers who will offer counselling, programs, and supports to residents through existing LMO programs.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why it is with great pleasure that our Government, through the National Housing Strategy, is supporting developments like Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging — a project that will provide Indigenous youth and elders with an environment designed to support connections to their cultural community.”
“Kikékyelc celebrates Indigenous culture through beautiful architecture as well as a unique housing model designed to meet the diverse needs of the resident youth and Elders. This project showcases the ingenuity of this community to increase diversity and accessibility across the housing continuum.”
“Colleen Lucier and her entire team at Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Cultural Services wholeheartedly embrace AHMA’s beliefs of using community-led solutions to provide our Indigenous communities with safe, affordable and culturally appropriate housing. There is an extremely high number of youths aging out of care. Kikékyelc will offer immeasurable stability and support to the uncertainties our Indigenous youth face here in Kamloops. This intergenerational cohousing complex for Indigenous elders and youth is a powerful family focused initiative that we are honored to welcome to the AHMA community.”
“I wish to express our gratitude for the remarkable and generous support we received from the Government of Canada, BC Housing, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, M’akola Development Services and the City of Kamloops that made this unique and much needed culturally safe housing project possible. The idea for Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging came from a desperate need to improve outcomes for Indigenous youth receiving services from the child welfare system. Our local Metis Elders challenged us by asking what, as a Metis service provider, we were doing differently to break the cycle of lost generations. Kikékyelc is an example of one of our many efforts to do something different. It is our hope that Kikékyelc will contribute to a youth’s ability to conceive of a brighter future and ultimately break the cycle that has perpetuated the over-representation of Indigenous children in care for far too long. The support received for this project is a reflection of reconciliation in action and demonstrates what can happen when Indigenous communities are supported to develop and lead services for our People. Maarsii.”
- The Government of Canada acknowledges that this development is built on the traditional lands of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc.
- Rents are projected to range from $400 to approximately $435 per month:
- Studio: $400/month
- One-bedroom: $425/month
- One-bedroom accessible: $435/month
- Tenants began moving in to Kikékyelc: A Place of Belonging on September 1, 2020.
- The City of Kamloops contributed the land to BC Housing for a 60-year term valued at $420,000 and also provided $80,000 in municipal waivers. This land-use strategy is one of the key policies the city uses to support affordable housing developments. It has provided similar leases to three other affordable housing developments.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, NHCF gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes over the next 10 years.
- Investments are also planned in the NHCF to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence and create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation