Housing

Bonnie Michell, Housing Coordinator

250-256-7423 ext. 229
housing@xwisten.ca


Quality housing that matches the needs of our members is critical to building a strong and healthy community in the future. The housing department works hard to ensures that members have access to safe, affordable and high quality housing. There are about 90 homes in Bridge River, including rental units, social housing, and privately owned homes.

The responsibilities of the department include property management of rental units, renovations, general maintenance records, tenant counseling, and new construction. Member responsibility includes yard upkeep, preventative maintenance and timely rental payments.

Rental Housing Application Process

The process is simple, and we can help you with the application if needed:

  1. Write a letter to the Housing Department, indicating the space required, family size and number of individuals that would be living in the unit, the names of all individuals that would be living in the unit, type of employment, and current living conditions. You can mail or drop this letter off at the Band office, or email it to housing@xwisten.ca.
  2. There may be a waiting list. Your application is kept on file until a suitable unit comes up. You do not need to resubmit, but feel free to call the band office and check if you would like an update.
  3. Once a unit is available for rent, you will be considered based on the size and type of house that is available, and if it matches your needs. If there is an emergency situation or unusual circumstances, this may be reviewed.
  4. Band members are always priority.

Home Owner’s Application Process

The Housing Coordinator and Band can also help members who want to purchase their own home with a Section 10 process.  Confirmation is needed with your banking institution for CMHC to build.

Please write a letter to the Housing Coordinator so your request is on file. In your letter, include:

  • Employment application form (contact us for this form)
  • Property location
  • Facilities existing or required at the location. Do facilities need to be installed? (e.g., BC Hydro, Telus, water, septic and access).

Maintenance

It is the tenant’s/homeowners responsibility to maintain their home. Not only will this mean less repairs in the long run (and less waiting for repairs!), it will also make sure the house will last a long time, long after the lease or mortgage is paid off. Small amounts of maintenance will save you money in the long run.

Stop by the band office to pick up a free copy of “The Basic Home Maintenance – First Nations Home Occupants’ Guide”. The book contains helpful information for routine and preventative maintenance for your home such as the:

  • Hot Water Tank
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Fridge
  • Stove
  • Painting
  • Closet Doors
  • Furnaces

Maintenance tips are also posted in the Monthly Xwísten Newsletter.  Tips cover routine and preventative maintenance and include things like:

  • Seasonal issues (e.g., what to do to prepare for winter?)
  • Termite hazards to be aware of in and around your home
  • Smoke alarms and fans
  • Fire hazards
  • Health and community hazards
  • Car removal (vehicles no longer in use).  Currently the Band is using a free program, which is of no cost to the Band, Tenant or Homeowner to remove and recycle the vehicles from yards. The program has been a great success, with 13 vehicles already removed from our houses and more on the list and ready to go. From this program, we’ve been able to donate $695.00 to charities that support single mothers, people needing help finding a first job, and other groups in need.