REGINA — The sod was officially turned Wednesday on a new 29-unit permanent supportive housing development in north central Regina.
The project is called Home Fire, and it is a rapid housing initiative project from Silver Sage Housing Corporation which will provide housing for individuals and families facing homelessness and housing insecurity.
Silver Sage is partnering with Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services who will operate the facility and deliver programming and supports.
“It’s about empowering people to move along that line of independence,” said Natoshia Bastien, Silver Sage’s president and CEO, in a statement. “It’s important for people to lift up other people. It’s about empowering people and providing them with a safe space to live, combined with wraparound supports to motivate individual and family success.”
This marks the first project in Regina under the Rapid Housing Initiative, a $2.5 billion program that is part of the federal National Housing Strategy.
RHI is providing $7.8 in funding to the project. Saskatchewan Housing Corporation also contributed $783,000 through the Saskatchewan Co-Investment Program, which supports the building of affordable rental housing in the province. The City of Regina put in $575,000 in funding through the Permanent Supportive Housing Capital Grant and $615,000 through the Affordable Housing Incentive Program.
“On the provincial side, obviously supportive living arrangements are important to our province,” said Minister of Social Services Gene Makowsky. “It’s very much needed. We’re working as hard as we can with all of our partners to make these a reality.”
Mayor Sandra Masters said it was important for the city to be involved in supporting this Indigenous-led project.
“There’s a little bit of a step forward and some progress being made, which is deeply gratifying and actually motivating to continue walking that path and doing more,” said Masters. “I think the idea of the city as a partner is because we are closest to the people. We should have a better understanding of what’s needed and that advocacy role that we play with the federal and provincial governments where those large pots of money are.”
“We believe it’s important for this project to be Indigenous-led because we live in the city of Regina, where when we look at the statistics and the population, we understand that there’s a higher percentage of Indigenous people who are along the continuum of dependence on supportive housing moving towards independence,” said Erica Beaudin, executive director of Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services. “When you look at the continuum of care and services, there is indeed a huge gap for second stage housing. And that is key, as it is right in the middle of continuum of care services to move towards independence to go towards market rent, to go towards independent living, home ownership.”
It’s expected many of those who will reside there, though not all, will be Indigenous, while others would be considered those marginalized by society.
Beaudin said that although they use an Indigenous worldview and Indigenous strategies, that “people that come for services, Indigenous or not, absolutely benefit from that perspective and those philosophies.“
The build is located at 120 - Broad St. and construction is to be completed by August 2023.