Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) have approved a tendered proposal from KL Martin & Associates that will see a new 20 unit elder facility be constructed in Ohsweken at the Harold Road development.
KL Martin & Associates is a 100 per cent "aboriginal owned and operated consulting firm that was formed in 1991 to provide technical services to First Nations." The group has provided a proposal to tender the project at a cost that was valued at $403,845.
Lily-Anne Mt. Pleasant, acting director and financial control officer for Six Nations Housing, spoke on her discussions with Six Nations Health Services and Six Nations Public Works about the programming gap within the Six Nations Community for senior care.
"I know that there was some discussion about programming gaps and the fact that we have a fully independent facility and a full assisted facility. We don't have anything in-between where there are health staff on site, which this complex could be used for to fill that gap," she said.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) will also provide $651,000 in funding for pre-construction activities that will include the finalizing of drawings, site plan and service for installations of utilities.
Coun. Sherri-Lyn Hill questioned whether emergency housing and living would be included in the complex. Mt. Pleasant stated that she would like to see an emergency housing policy developed by SNEC before Six Nations Housing would be able to include that component in their programming.
Mt. Pleasant acknowledged the demand for emergency living in the community and the importance in developing an emergency housing policy to ensure that guidelines were being followed and the application process would be fair for all residents.
"If housing is going to provide an emergency housing component to our programming, it needs to be very clear to us how to determine the need so that we don't have accusations of nepotism, so that we don't have accusations of favouritism," Mt. Pleasant said. "Because what we're essentially allowing with an emergency housing system is to allow people to skip that wait list, and as we all know the wait list is very long, and the need is extensive it's more than we can provide."
"If we're going to have that emergency housing component, it needs to be very transparent, it needs to be very clear to people what that system looks like and I believe that needs to be determined by council," she added.
SNEC approved the motion before council that will allow KL Martin & Associates to design and administer the 20 unit complex.
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