124 affordable rental homes open in Colwood, most earmarked for Indigenous people

An artist's rendering of the new affordable rental units is shown.

More than 120 affordable rental homes have opened at a new apartment building in Colwood, with most of the units reserved for Indigenous people and families.

The six-storey building opened at 342 Wale Rd. and includes 70 one-bedroom units, 42 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units.

Monthly rent is flexible and depends on the tenant, according to the B.C. government. Rent will not exceed more than 30 per cent of a household's gross income, says the province.

"Housing opportunities for Indigenous families and individuals that are affordable, culturally appropriate and inclusive were much needed in our community," said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, in a release Monday.

"I would like to acknowledge the partnership between the province, the City of Colwood and Indigenous partners – Aboriginal Land Trust Society, Lu’ma Native Housing Society and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations – who worked hard to make these homes a reality," she said.

The province says that while most of the units are reserved for Indigenous peoples, some units will be available to anyone, though the exact amount was not specified Monday.

The building was completed at a cost of $24.8 million and will receive an annual operating fund of roughly $858,000 through the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund.

The property also includes a 12-metre-tall metal sculpture built by Coast Salish artist Darlene Gait. The sculpture, called Healing Moon, includes a moon made out of copper surrounded by four wolves, and is meant to represent health, balance and security, according to the province.