Indigenous partners, have joined forces to build unique, culturally appropriate housing for First Nations people on First Nations land.
Announced Tuesday, February 23, 2022, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s Rapid Housing Initiative will fund the $32.3-million modular project and support 80 new units to be built by mid 2023.
Indigenous housing provider, Lu’ma Development Management, in partnership with NUQO Modular, have teamed with Squamish Nation’s, Hiy̓ám̓ housing society to bring a high-density community housing project to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). Composed of 80 innovative modular social housing units including cultural and exterior amenity spaces, this would be the first high-quality, permanent modular building of its type in this area.
"Hiy̓ám̓ ta Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh Housing Society embraces empowering Indigenous partnerships with both NUQO and L’uma Housing to fulfill our housing mandate to our Squamish Nation members and to bring Squamish home.” says, Hiy̓ám̓ CEO, Sarah Silva
Located on Squamish Nation Land along Capilano Road, the first of the two buildings, estítkw place (a safe place) is expected to have 50 units. The second building, eskékxwi7ch tl’a Sp’ákw’us place (gathering place of eagles), will have 30 mixed units, comprised of multi-family and studio dwellings. Offsite modular construction is expected to commence summer 2022 and will employ many local contractors and professionals from the Squamish Nation to complete this social housing project.
“Building housing for those that need them the most is deeply rewarding work. But these projects take it to a new level.” Says, Richards, “Several members of our team are Squamish Nation members and/or have family members living on Squamish reserve land, which makes it even more of a privilege to be building these units.”
These projects will also serve as a roadmap for future innovative modular housing projects focusing on social housing via CMHC – representing a greener future for high density housing. In the midst of BC’s housing crisis, “Modular technology is the future of housing, and so are women in leadership roles in the construction industry.” says, Richards, also acknowledging the anomaly of a female lead construction company. “Women have gone from being homemakers, to home builders. Times haves changed, and our team at NUQO is proud to be a part of that change.”
“Lu’ma Development Management LTD is proud to partner with NUQO, an Indigenous led company, to provide development services to aid Hiy̓ám̓ ta Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh Housing Society in their overall goal of providing safe, affordable, and permanent housing to meet their member’s unique housing needs.” says, Lu’ma President, Marcel Swain.