Yellowknives Dene First Nation gets funding to build 19 affordable homes

·2 min read
Ndilo Chief Ernest Betsina, left, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod, and Dettah Chief Eddie Sangris in a file photo from 2018. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation will get $18.8 million for new affordable housing in Ndilo and Dettah, N.W.T. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi - image credit)
Ndilo Chief Ernest Betsina, left, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod, and Dettah Chief Eddie Sangris in a file photo from 2018. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation will get $18.8 million for new affordable housing in Ndilo and Dettah, N.W.T. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi - image credit)

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is getting $18.8 million to build 19 new affordable homes in Ndilo and Dettah.

Michael McLeod, MP for the Northwest Territories, and Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, made the announcement Monday with Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) Chiefs Edward Sangris and Ernest Betsina.

The money is part of $60 million announced last March for the construction for 126 affordable housing units in N.W.T.

The money for Ndilo and Dettah will help build eight four-bedroom, two-bathroom houses and 11 one-bedroom apartments, Hussein said over a livestreamed video.

'By the community, for the community'

Dettah Chief Sangris said the construction projects will offer training opportunities to people in the community.

"These units will be designed and built by the community, for the community," Sangris said.

Ndilo Chief Betsina said for too long, housing decisions in YKDFN communities have been made by people thousands of miles away.

"This cookie cutter approach doesn't work and has failed our people," he said.

Betsina said he hopes that this project will help "create a foundation of a long-term self-sustaining housing program."

Hussen said priority for the new housing will be given to elders, people with disabilities, and women and their children.

He also said the new units will not replace existing units, and will add to the overall housing stock in these communities.

The money is coming out of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's National Housing Co-Investment Fund.

The federal government will cover the capital costs of the new units in Ndilo and Dettah, while YKDFN will pay for ongoing maintenance costs.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says construction is estimated to be completed by August 2022.

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