With more than 40 people on the housing wait list on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek lands, a new housing project that is years in the making will go a long way in addressing social housing needs and reduce overcrowding..
Members of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek were joined by Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré on Sept. 15 for a ground-breaking ceremony of a project that will see the construction of two semi-detached and two three-bedroom bungalows.
Chief Craig Nootchtai said there are 41 people on the waiting list for housing in the community.
“This project is another step toward filling that need, and to ensure we have homes for our families so that they come back to the reserve,” Nootchtai said following the ceremony.
It’s taken a lot of planning to get to this point, he said. Housing studies, numerous meetings, proposals have all led to “physical progress.” Indigenous Services Canada is providing $671,850, while the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation is providing $437,400 toward the project.
“There’s a lot of rock where the new homes will be built, and it poses quite a challenge, but we’re up for that challenge,” he said. “We have a lot of support from our funders, and we have a great team here.”
Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré said he has been impressed with the work Atikameksheng Anishnawbek has done since he was first elected in 2015.
“We made an announcement two years ago on the industrial park, we made an announcement a few months ago about the bypass road, and this is the work this community has done, and I think Atikameksheng Anishnawbek is in a good position to continue this good work.”
Construction is expected to be completed by March 31, 2021.