Ten Port Moody homes to be saved by shíshálh Nation on Sunshine Coast

Ten homes in Port Moody, originally slotted for demolition, are being relocated and repurposed in the Shishalh Nation community on the Sunshine Coast. As Kate Walker reports, it’s part of a sustainable and affordable housing project.

Ten homes in Port Moody, previously slated for demolition, will find new life on the Sunshine Coast as part of a sustainable and affordable housing project.

Members from the shíshálh Nation in Sechelt have been working with developers to move the homes to their community.

“In our community if we wanted to build a three-bedroom rancher, we’re looking at about $450,000,” said Chief Lenora Joe from the shíshálh Nation.

“Going this route, with all of the grants that we are potentially eligible for, we could bring those costs down hopefully to about a 180,000…is our estimated cost for homeowners.”

Originally, Wesgroup Properties, a real estate developer, acquired 59 single-family homes that were set to be demolished. Renewal Development, a home relocation comapany, then assessed the homes and found ten that were ideal for this project. An agreement was signed earlier this year for the homes to be purchased by the shíshálh Nation.

“We tear down 2,700 homes every year to make space for these higher density development projects. We estimate about 700 of those homes are in perfectly good condition and should be rescued, relocated, and repurposed,” said Glyn Lewis, founder and CEO of Renewal Development.

The Port Moody homes will be transported on flatbed trucks down to the waterfront, where they’ll be loaded onto barges on the Fraser River to begin the journey up the coast.

Wendy Kinloch raised her family in one of the travelling homes, which was first purchased in 1989. She said a bittersweet goodbye to the home on Tuesday.

“It’ll be great to have other kids playing in this house… Quite often we had six or seven kids running around the yard, playing,” Kinloch said.

“I’m so glad that it is going to someone else, and it’ll see that life instead of being demolished.”

The ten homes will accommodate up to twenty families with the possibility of basement suites. Once in place, the homes will be renovated and upgraded to be more energy efficient.

“We have 200 people on our wait list right now. Two-hundred people in our community that are living with extended family. Like I’ve said, we’ve had two or three families living in one family home. And that’s going to be able to address at least 20 families,” Joe said.

“Particularly for remote communities where construction is so challenging and so costly, this solution makes a lot of sense for them,” Lewis added.

The entire project is slated to be complete by the end of the year.

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