On August 25, 2023, the Indian Lands Registry System confirmed registration of a $36M mortgage by BC Housing to Hiy̓ám̓, secured against a first of its kind quintipartite lease among BC Housing, PRHC, Squamish Nation, and Hiy̓ám̓ as lessee. The lease and mortgage are for the construction of 95 units of affordable housing on Squamish Nation reserve lands in North Vancouver.
Called Chenkw Em̓út, which means “I am home,” the project is located at 300 Khatsilano Road on Capilano Indian Reserve No. 5, in West Vancouver. It is based on a multi-generational housing approach and is a unique opportunity to reimagine the traditional Squamish longhouse living practice of shared accommodation. The four-story building includes homes for independent Elders, families, and youth, including14 studio units, 50 one-bedroom units, 20 two-bedroom units, 10 three-bedroom units, and one five-bedroom unit. Each unit will have access to a private outdoor space, supporting a constant connection to the outdoors. The building will be managed by Hiy̓ám̓, a non-profit that develops and manages affordable housing for members of the Squamish Nation.
The project was led internally by James Struthers, Founder & Managing Lawyer of macushlaw and supported by Nazanin Khodarahmi, Raquel Brizzi, Leah Beer and Amanda Mazloomi.
macushlaw is proud to support the incredible work of Donalene Rapada (CEO) and her team at Hiy̓ám̓ on bringing the Squamish People home, and generally supporting the affordable housing sector.
You can learn more about this groundbreaking project here.
“We really feel in our work with macushlaw that James and his team cares about us. He has a strong understanding and sense of what is in the best interests of his clients, and is not afraid to advocate for those rights, even when negotiating with large, powerful, and bureaucratic institutions in which the purpose and impact of projects can at times be lost. He has the ability to refocus all parties’ attention on these key components of a project to help keep everyone rowing in the same direction.
We also appreciate that macushlaw provides us with services at a reduced rate. macushlaw recognizes the value that Hiy̓ám̓ Housing provides to the Squamish Nation and charges us a reduced rate based on our impactful role in society.”
– Donalene Rapada, Hiy̓ám̓