Five new modular homes to be constructed to support people seeking affordable housing

ZHIIBAAHAASING FIRST NATION—Five new modular houses are expected to be constructed in Zhiibaahaasing First Nation by December of this year to support on and off-reserve members of the community who are having trouble finding housing.

Kevin Mossip, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation band councillor, told The Expositor last week, “under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), we applied for, and have been approved for funding to build five new housing units.” Three of the new houses will include two bedrooms, and two housing units will include three bedrooms.

Funding of $1.446 million was provided by CMHC in funding to Zhiibaahaasing. “The total cost of the project from clearing brush, construction of the buildings and turn-key is approximately $1.9 million. Our First Nation is contributing half a million dollars to the project,” said Councillor Mossip.

Councillor Mossip explained, “with the rapid housing project, one of the prerequisites of us receiving funding was that prefabricated housing would be constructed. The new housing target group is homeless people, single parents with families and those living on fixed incomes having trouble finding affordable housing. The housing units are for Zhiibaahaasing residents, currently living on or off-reserve.”

“The housing unit rents are geared to income,” said Councillor Mossip. “So tenants will not be paying 30 percent or more of their gross earnings for rent.” He explained that the band council will own the new houses.

“It was about a year-long process before we were approved for this funding,” said Councillor Mossip. He noted the First Nation was turned down for funding in the first round of funding applications, but received funding confirmation in the second round.”

The five new housing units will be provided by Guildcrest Homes based out of Morewood, Ontario. “They already have constructed two prefab buildings in Zhiibaahaasing that have stood up well over the past few years,” continued Councillor Mossip. “The actual construction company is Barne Construction of Sudbury. They will put the building together, including  basements for each.” Each unit will be wheelchair accessible, be heated by propane and have high insulation value.

Mr. Mossip said it is hoped construction of the five new houses will commence in June, and “they are scheduled to be completed by December of this year.”