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New supportive homes focusing on housing Indigenous seniors coming to Prince George

PRINCE GEORGE – The province, through BC Housing, and the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George (AHSPG) are partnering to build 35 new supportive homes for seniors and Indigenous elders experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Prince George.

“Thanks to the help and vision of the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George, these 35 new homes will provide the supports and care that older people experiencing homelessness in Prince George need to live independently with dignity,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, in a news release. “Our government will continue to do its part to make projects like this a reality – including encouraging the federal government to match our Indigenous housing investments.”

Located at 1919 17th Avenue, the three-storey building will include 35 accessible studio units, each with a kitchenette and washroom. Seniors who identify as Indigenous and Métis will be prioritized for tenancy.

AHSPG provided the land for the project and will operate the housing. Residents will have access to 24/7 support services, including daily meals, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services. The society will provide culturally appropriate supports, including programming that focuses on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. At least two staff members will always be on site.

The new supportive homes will be part of AHSPG’s Urban Aboriginal Community development project. The development’s goal is to provide safe, affordable housing with on-site access to community and cultural services for urban Indigenous peoples in Prince George. Once completed, the development will include up to 200 affordable rental housing units, a child care facility and spaces for learning, gathering and cultural practice, all on the same 2.8-hectare (seven-acre) lot. This development is the first of its kind in Canada.

Kim Hamilton, executive director, AHSPG, said: “We are very excited to have the supportive housing project as part of the Urban Aboriginal Community. Not only will it provide homes for our most vulnerable seniors, but our hope is that these seniors will become part of the community and will have the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to younger generations within this community. This development will provide support to urban Indigenous peoples in Prince George by offering up to 200 units of safe and affordable housing with on-site access to educational, child care, health and wellness, recreational and cultural opportunities.”

Construction on the supportive housing is anticipated to be completed by spring 2022.

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