Zhiibaahaasing FN housing project begins

ZHIIBAAHAASING FIRST NATION—Work has started for five new modular houses that are being constructed on the Zhiibaahaasing First Nation.

“We started clearing the property lots on Sagon Road about two weeks ago,” Kevin Mossip, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation band councillor told The Expositor last week. He noted E. Corbiere and Sons is doing a lot of property clearing.

“Barne Construction of Sudbury will be doing the actual building of the houses,” said Mr. Mossip. “They just started doing prep work for the basements of the houses and this, along with more clearing of the property, is taking place.”

The five new housing units are being provided by Guildcrest Homes, based out of Morewood, Ontario. “The company has previously constructed two prefab buildings in Zhiibaahaasing that have stood up well over the past few years,” said Councillor Mossip. “Each unit will be wheelchair accessible, be heated by propane and have high insulation value.”

As was reported previously, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation had received funding under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Three of the new houses will include two bedrooms and two homes will each have three bedrooms.

Funding of $1.446 million was provided by CMHC to Zhiibaahaasing. The total cost of the project from clearing brush, construction of the buildings and turn-key is approximately $1.9 million. Zhiibaahaasing is contributing $500,000 to the project

Councillor Mossip had explained previously that, with the rapid housing project, one of the prerequisites of Zhiibaahaasing 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 units are geared to income, so tenants will be paying 30 percent or more of their gross earnings for rent. Zhiibaahaasing council will own the new houses.

Councillor Mossip said it is anticipated actual construction of the five new houses will commence in June, and they be completed by December of this year.