Home Relationships How a B.C. First Nation is rescuing 10 Port Moody homes from the wrecking ball – BC

How a B.C. First Nation is rescuing 10 Port Moody homes from the wrecking ball – BC

How a B.C. First Nation is rescuing 10 Port Moody homes from the wrecking ball – BC

Ten single-family homes from Port Moody, B.C., that would have been destined for the scrap heap will find new life as housing for members of the shíshálh Nation on the Sunshine Coast.

The homes were among 59 acquired by Wesgroup Properties and slated for demolition as a part of the company’s Coronation Park redevelopment.

“We’ve been in the process for some time trying to work on how we can bring homes to our community for our nation members,” shíshálh lhe hiwus (Chief) Lenora Joe said Tuesday.

“We don’t want to go cheap. We want homes to last, we want them to be generational homes.”

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“Most of our families are living two to three families in a home, so we are trying to move as quickly as we can to accommodate these,” she added.

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The nation is experiencing a major housing crunch, with about 900 of its 1,600 members living on its swiya (territory) around Sechelt, and another 700 members interested in living there.

The houses will be carried by truck through Metro Vancouver, before being loaded onto a barge and relocated to the nation’s Selma Park subdivision project.

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Once in place, the homes will be renovated and upgraded for energy efficiency by a company called Renewal Development which specializes in “rescuing” and repurposing homes from urban communities.

“I think projects like this, with intention and thoughtfulness, can redirect the course of change,” Renewal CEO Glyn Lewis said.

“I think that that’s been our intention throughout, is to do development responsibly and save perfectly good homes and to provide them to communities that need good housing.”

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Renewal was also involved in the recent project to move the “little yellow school house” from Kitsilano in Vancouver to Squamish Nation land in North Vancouver where it now serves as an early language centre.

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Strong winds push another runaway barge into English Bay

The project is being watched closely by other developers, First Nations and the provincial government, which said it is interested in the possibility of replicating it.

“It’s a fantastic initiative,” Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said.

Not only are we keeping homes out of the waste but we’re also making sure that there is more housing available,”

Wesgroup re-allocated $350,000 budgeted for demolition as funding, along with project management support to help lower the relocation cost.

Across Metro Vancouver, more than 2,300 homes are demolished every year. Provincewide, as much as 40 per cent of all landfill materials come from demolition, renovation or construction activity.

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