FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10:00am CST – September 14, 2023
Date: September 14, 2023
Regina, SK – Silver Sage Housing Corporation (Silver Sage) hosted a partnership gathering to celebrate the end of construction for Regina’s first Rapid Housing Initiative project, a new 29-unit permanent supportive housing facility for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in Regina.
Originally known as the Home Fire Complex, misatimosimôwin mîhkowâp (Horse Dance Lodge) is a success thanks to support from the City of Regina, Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, and Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).
“Silver Sage is grateful to have been selected by the City of Regina to lead the development,” says Natoshia Bastien, Silver Sage’s President and CEO. “We are pleased with the results and excited to turn the building over to RT/SIS who will be supporting tenants in the facility.”
The project broke ground in September of last year, with Big Block Construction overseeing the design-build stage of the development. “Horse Dance Lodge is an outstanding story of how community collaboration, advanced integration, and fierce tenacity came together to build a complex rapid housing project in under 12-months,” says Alex Miller, CEO of Big Block. “Thanks to our dedicated team and incredible partners, the building will see its first residents move in as scheduled.”
Big Block collaborated with David T. Fortin Architect to design the building to meet a new standard for a Net-Zero Ready multi-unit residential building, unprecedented in Canada. The design team integrated modular design considerations and energy efficiency with Indigenous-led design.
The large windows are paired with prominent sunshades to limit solar heat gain, and feature a distinctive tipi design by local artist Linda Obey-Lavallee. The tipi is also referenced in the design of the canopy, with 15 angled wooden support columns reminiscent of the 15 poles in a typical tipi. Natural wood and warm tones are present throughout the interior, providing a welcoming environment for residents, support staff, and community members.
Silver Sage has partnered with Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services (RT/SIS) to provide tailored programming and wraparound supports for the residents.
“RT/SIS is truly thankful for all the project partners who have made Horse Dance Lodge a reality, it is incredible what we have accomplished together,” says Tanya Ritchotte of Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services (RT/SIS). “RT/SIS is looking forward to continuing this good work as we open this supportive living complex to those in need, and provide our integrated support services to individuals, as they work towards independent, sustainable living.”
The Horse Dance Lodge was made possible through the $7.7 million in funding received from the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), part of the Federal Government’s National Housing Strategy. “Our government is investing in affordable housing here in Regina and across Canada to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most,” said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview. “It is in part thanks to the Rapid Housing Initiative, a key pillar of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy, that these new units will have residents calling them their home. I want to congratulate all our partners in the completion of misatimosimôwin mîhkowâp, this is a tremendous milestone.”
Additionally, the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation provided $783,000 through the Saskatchewan Co-Investment Program, designed to support the construction of new affordable rental housing in the province. “The Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation are proud to support Silver Sage Housing Corporation and Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services in the development of 29 new affordable housing units for individuals and families in need through the Saskatchewan Co-Investment Program,” said Saskatchewan Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Gene Makowsky. “This housing is an important step towards achieving our goals to improve access to safe and stable housing to support those in greatest housing need.”
The City of Regina contributed $575,000 in funding through the Permanent Supportive Housing Grant and $615,000 through the Housing Incentive Program. “Today, we celebrate a step forward in supporting residents who are experiencing housing insecurity in our city,” said Regina Mayor Sandra Masters. “Horse Dance Lodge demonstrates what we can achieve when levels of government, industry and community partners come together to create a secure environment where individuals and families can build their lives.”
Natoshia Bastien says Silver Sage is closing out the project with gratitude. “Thank you to all who have supported Silver Sage’s first partnership with the City of Regina,” says Natoshia. “We hope to work in collaboration again to provide more housing options to Reginans in the future.”
About Silver Sage Housing Corp.
Incorporated in 1983, Silver Sage is a key housing provider of high quality and affordable housing for First Nations people in Saskatchewan’s urban areas. In building Home Fire, Silver Sage is advancing their Good Neighbour strategy and expanding their existing portfolio of 567 housing units across Regina, Fort Qu’Appelle, Indian Head, Sintaluta, and Maple Creek, Swift Current and Moose Jaw.