Samson Community Development board chair Clayton Bruno (centre) breaks ground with his staff at the Jim Omeasoo Cultural Centre in Maskwacis on Friday

Samson Community Development board chair Clayton Bruno (centre) breaks ground with his staff at the Jim Omeasoo Cultural Centre in Maskwacis on Friday

Samson Nation breaks ground for housing project

Officials and staff of the Community Development at the Samson Nation in Maskwacis symbolically broke ground.

Officials and staff of the Community Development at the Samson Nation in Maskwacis symbolically broke ground on Friday, June 12 to start a housing project to construct 17 new units to provide desperately needed accommodation for the community.

Head of the Community Development Board Clayton Bruno said before the groundbreaking ceremony that there were more than 300 applicants for the 17 housing units, a figure he said showed the urgency of the need for new housing in the community. The construction will be financed by the federal government funds.

Bruno said the project was significant in the sense that it showed their new approach to the solution of the housing crisis in the Samson Cree nation.

He said they were moving from keeping up with repairs of the existing units to creating new and better housing for the community. “There are a lot of mould and plumbing issues in the current units, which are on average 40 years old,” Bruno said.

He added that the primary goal was channeling funds to creation of new accommodation units instead of wasting money on extending life of the old structures.

Bruno also stated that the Samson Cree nation would go into partnership with the international NGO Habitat for Humanity in order to construct housing for the community.

He said they would be initially building five units in a new modality under which, tenants at the housing units would be paying regular fees during their occupation of the houses and that, when they move out, they would receive their money back minus the cost of repairs required to bring the residence to the condition of the time they moved in.

Bruno added that the project would take into account the special circumstances of the individuals in the community. “We will be building units for seniors, for disabled people and for bachelors, single members of the community as well as for big families,” he said.