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Housing Project will address Health and Safety concerns in Tla’amin homes

50 homes will receive urgent health and safety restorations in the next 8 months

In December the Tla’amin Nation was notified that its proposal to the New Approach to Housing Infrastructure Grant program was approved by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

This funding will enable the Nation to begin to address a backlog of urgent health and safety restoration projects.

The restoration project started last year when a number of homes were identified as requiring emergency health and safety repairs.

Homes were inspected to determine how big the needs were and what it would cost to address them. This data was compiled into a proposal for ISC. Just under 50 specific addresses were included in the proposal. 

Now that the project is approved ISC requires us to re-inspect each home and diligently document health and safety issues.

To complete the work on time and on budget the Nation has engaged a qualified home restoration contractor. Following a bidding process Winmar was awarded the job.  A building inspector will oversee the renovations and ensure that the work is safe and of high quality.

Four Nation members will be hired as Restoration Technicians. These are training positions and provide Tla’amin members the opportunity to work alongside skilled professionals and gain experience and skills in the various trades of construction. The job posting will be issued shortly.

Frequently asked questions:

How does the restoration project work?

The Restoration project will follow an 8 step process

  1. The tenant will be contacted and the contractor sent to re-inspect the home.  This will confirm/modify the initial scope to ensure it is compliant with the ISC approval of health and safety items.
  2. The ISC approved building inspector will review the scope and confirm it meets the required ISC standards for compensation.
  3. The scope and schedule will be discussed with the owner/tenant.
  4. A quotation will be produced by the contractor and approved.
  5. The Nation will issue a Purchase Order to complete the work to the contractor.
  6. The work will be completed.
  7. The contractor will invoice to the Nation.
  8. The final report will be prepared and reviewed and submitted to ISC for approval and compensation.

How will I know if my house is on the Restoration Project list?
The housing department will be contacting all homes involved in the project. Any work scope and costs previously discussed with home owners were based on estimates only.  It is unlikely the work will be identical to the work scope communicated at the time of the application.  It is expected that the scope will change due to cost limitations in the grant, new discoveries during the work, and the rising cost of construction.  This program has a maximum total budget under the 2020-2021 program.

How are the funds allocated?
All inspections that were completed previously were for budgetary scope and estimation purposes only supporting the ISC application.  The re-inspections will tell us exactly what work falls under the ISC eligibility requirements. The actual work scope will be updated when the Nation contractor provides a Nation and Building Inspector approved quote and the Purchase Order is issued. 

Compensation from ISC is on a reimbursement basis. The Nation is required to pay for the contracted work up-front and then, based on the Building Inspectors approval of the work, the cost is submitted by the Nation to ISC and reimbursed. 

Can I complete my own restorations and bill the Nation?
Any work completed by a tenant or home owner that is not authorized by the Nation will not be reimbursed. At no time will funds be dispersed to community members directly.  Any work that is not approved through the above process will not be eligible for compensation under this program.

Is there a maximum allocation for Restoration?
We know that need is greater than available funding, and while the Nation is actively pursuing additional funding, challenging decisions needed to be made on how the funds are allocated and spread across the home addresses approved under the application.  

ISC has approved an estimate associated with each home that may not align with the amounts understood during the estimation phase. Issues that exceed these amounts will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.  

What if my home is not included but needs Restoration?
The Nation recognizes that while this program will not address all of the community need it will take care of some of the more urgent and pressing safety issues.

While restoration gets underway this winter a second phase of the project is being planned.  Tla’amin’s new Nation Housing Renewal Program will inspect, scope and estimate the required works on all other homes at the Nation requiring restorations and replacement.  These estimates will strengthen the Nation’s ability to acquire funding for future restoration projects. 

This is a message from the Department of Public Works and Community Infrastructure.