NationTalk: The Government of Prince Edward Island has signed a historic agreement with the Chiefs of Abegweit First Nation and Lennox Island First Nation for a housing project in Hillsborough Park, Charlottetown.
The agreement will provide land and opportunities to address the housing needs of First Nations urban community members and access to economic development.
The agreement allocates serviced land, including water, sewer and road access, to the PEI First Nations, to build housing amounting to 10 per cent of the total allowable housing units of the Hillsborough Park project. The province is also providing a financial support of $100,000 to L’nuey, the Mi’kmaq rights initiative under the authority of the two First Nations, to identify solutions for their unique housing needs on the parcels of land.
“This project will benefit PEI’s urban Mi’kmaq community by helping to meet their housing needs, and it shows our government’s commitment to working with them to support their priorities. In 2019 we promised to work with the PEI Mi’kmaq on broader issues such as housing and economic development and this historic agreement demonstrates our commitment to reconciliation.”
– Premier Dennis King and Minister responsible for Indigenous Relations
The PEI Housing Corporation is proposing up to 1,200 units for the 85-acre property and a built community designed for active transportation and public transit, along with retail and commercial space and green space. The PEI Housing Corporation is submitting a zoning application to the City of Charlottetown for a multi-year development to create a mix of single family, multi-unit, townhouse and apartment-style accommodations.
“This housing development in Hillsborough Park is one of the largest housing projects supported by government and we want to create a dynamic and affordable community for Islanders,” said Minister of Housing, Land and Communities, Rob Lantz. “This long-term project will help remove barriers to housing supply and support the current and future needs of our communities.”
“As the MLA for this area, I commend this historical agreement between the Government of Prince Edward Island, Abegweit First Nation, and Lennox Island First Nation,” said Minister of Education and Early Years Natalie Jameson and MLA for Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park. “This project represents a concrete step towards reconciliation, addressing housing needs, and fostering economic development.”
“This agreement marks an exciting new opportunity for Lennox Island to explore urban housing development, something that has long been a challenge and priority for our community,” said Chief Darlene Bernard of Lennox Island First Nation. “The Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq regaining access to lands and resources is a key part of reconciliation, and this agreement is a welcome step in that process. I am eager to see this project come to life and the benefits it will provide for our urban community members here on Epekwitk.”
“We need the ability to house people that are part of our communities, that includes both on and off reserve, and in order to do that we must build our capacity,” said Chief Junior Gould of Abegweit First Nation. “The road to true reconciliation includes economic reconciliation, and I am pleased to see this agreement reached, which will assist us in economic development and allow our communities to continue to grow and prosper.”
For more information on the development, visit https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/hillsboroughpark.
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