Construction is on schedule, and all homes are expected to open in late summer 2024; Shrief Fadl
NationTalk: Burns Lake Lake Districts News – The construction of the new supportive housing complex known as Dzee Inzu Yikh, the former Burns Lake Motor Inn will be completed this year.
Shrief Fadl, BC Housing’s spokesperson, said once Dzee Inzu Yikh is fully completed, it will have 44 units, split evenly between the front and back of the building. “Construction is on schedule, and all homes are expected to open in late summer 2024.”
Dzee Inzu Yikh accepts applications on an ongoing basis and will consider new applications as the project approaches its completion. No new tenants are currently scheduled to move in to reduce traffic and interference with the active construction work and to mitigate safety concerns.
Dinah Alec, Dzee Inzu Yikh’s supportive housing worker, said the complex supports residents and tries to help them live a healthy life. She added that eight residents are currently living in the complex.
Fadl added that Dzee Inzu Yikh offers a range of services for residents, including daily meals. Breakfast is provided by Dzee Inzu Yikh staff, while dinner is outsourced to a local restaurant. Meals will be prepared onsite once the building’s commercial kitchen and common dining room are complete.
At the moment residents can now cook in their units, as each suite contains a small refrigerator and cooking appliances. Once construction is complete, all units will include a kitchenette.
“Dzee Inzu Yikh staff work with residents to refer them to appropriate services that meet their unique needs, such as employment and skills training or health and wellness support. Once construction is complete, Dzee Inzu Yikh may arrange additional onsite services,” Fadl said.
While programming is not mandatory, he said residents are encouraged to develop goals and consider their well-being and future. Getting people housed first provides them with stability and safety. Once basic needs such as shelter and food are met, residents can begin to build on this foundation.
Fadl stated that the province, through BC Housing, purchased the former Burns Lake Motor Inn in April 2020 to provide 44 homes with support for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Burns Lake and the surrounding six First Nations. Previously it was used as an extreme weather response shelter.
The Village of Burns Lake, Lake Babine Nation, Nee Tahi-Buhn, Skin Tyee, Cheslatta, Burns Lake Band, and Wet’suwet’en First Nations also partnered with BC Housing in this supportive housing complex.
“Dzee Inzu Yikh staff supports residents wherever they may be on their unique journey. As such, there is no way to predict the duration of tenancy. Some residents at supportive housing buildings have lived there for years while others stay for a shorter duration before moving on,” Fadl said.
Currently, nine units are occupied as construction is underway.