There will be more access to affordable housing in La Loche’s future after the Methy Housing Corporation and governments of Canada and Saskatchewan hosted a combined sod turning and grand opening.
Athabasca MLA Jim Lemaigre joined representatives from Methy Housing Corporation to officially welcome tenants into their new homes and announce the start of construction on additional homes in the area on Sept. 27.
Methy Housing Corporation President Georgina Jolibois said the project will create six new residences in the community providing a safe, affordable and supportive environment for single mothers and their children. Jolibois said that the housing development is welcome in La Loche. Even when the project is complete, there will still be a waiting list for new housing units.
“The community is growing,” she said. “Even with the houses being built the need for housing is still very high.
“There is still high waiting list for the tiny home and then for the other units, such as the duplexes. (There) is still a high waitlist for the tiny homes and then for the other units, and that’s not counting the La Loche non-profit housing units. The non-profit organization, they have their own units they look after, and they do have a high waitlist, so it’s welcoming (news), building the homes. It’s fantastic.”
Jolibois said they expect the three duplexes to be completed by February 2024. She also said the Methy Housing Corporation appreciates the on-going funding support from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and Métis Nation – Reaching Home.
The grand opening marks the completion of the final eight one-bedroom tiny homes in the 28-home project that will provide affordable housing to individuals facing homelessness in La Loche.
“Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Dan Vandal, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada said in a release.
“Today’s announcement is another example of the federal government’s ongoing collaboration with Saskatchewan to deliver results and create spaces for some of society’s most vulnerable members.”
Lemaigre said that the provincial government has similar goals.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is working toward our goal to make affordable housing more accessible and to support families in greatest housing need,” Lemaigre said.
“We will continue to work with our community partners to connect La Loche residents to affordable housing and support them in raising their families, planning for the future and building a life in their community.”
“Following the successful completion of twenty-eight Tiny Homes for homeless singles, Methy Housing Corporation identified Single Parent Families as the next targeted group of much needed housing in the community.”
Methy Housing Corporation is a non-profit organization owned by the Northern Village of La Loche that owns and operates affordable housing units in the village. Since 2007, SHC has worked with Methy Housing Corporation to develop 145 affordable housing units (including this project) in La Loche.
Reaching Home is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding and support to urban, Indigenous, territorial and rural and remote communities to help them address their local homelessness needs.
Funding provided to the eight Methy Housing Corporation Tiny Homes includes $677,880 from Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) through the Rental Development Program, $500,000 from Infrastructure Canada through the Reaching Home Program, $140,000 from the Northern Village of La Loche and $64,000 from Methy Construction and Maintenance Corporation.
The new construction will provide low-income housing for six single parent households. Residents are anticipated to move into new homes by summer 2024.
Funding provided to the six Methy Housing Corporation Single-Parent Housing includes $677,880 from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation through the Rental Development Program, $420,000 from Infrastructure Canada through the Reaching Home Program, $105,000 from the Northern Village of La Loche and $15,000 from Methy Construction and Maintenance Corporation.
–with files from Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate