Kwadacha Nation’s Housing Committee met this week to finalise their housing policy, a guideline developed by the community to manage housing for their community.
“We’re happy to have a policy to follow that’s been developed by the Housing Committee, Community Members and Chief and Council, so we’re all on the same page. Now we have something that’s tailored for us,” said Madonna Warren, Director of Housing.
“It’s written in plain language so it’s easy to implement. We’ve put kindness and empathy as the basis of the policy, as it will be used to deal with some difficult situations like home evictions.”
The Kwadacha housing team, Community Power and Linda Ross take a break from the housing policy session for a photo in the sun
Kwadacha Nation partnered with Community Power and Linda E. Ross Property Management to develop the policy. Together they facilitated two 2-day community discussions in Fort Ware to provide a collaborative space to define existing community housing needs, develop a policy that would suit the specific needs of Kwadacha Nation and address any barriers to implementation. The policy has now been ratified by Kwadacha Chief and Council.
“It was important to get everyone together face-to-face to give the community ownership over the policy. We had some important discussions and defined the role of Chief and Council in housing,” Craig MacPherson, Executive Director.
The group brainstormed on which community values should be central to housing administration and outlined the Nation’s mission and vision as part of the policy.
“The best part of the session was discussing the issues and policies, and how we can create better housing in Kwadacha,” said Katrina Van Somer, Housing Committee Member.
The housing team hard at work defining housing needs and a policy that will address those needs.
Staff were also trained to use eEthos, a community management platform that is being implemented by the community to ease housing management workloads. The software automates, tracks, and prioritizes housing tasks including rent management, home tenancy, maintenance scheduling, energy bill tracking and condition reporting. Indigenous Services Canada funded both the housing policy development sessions, and the implementation of eEthos in the community.
The feedback from the housing administrators during the training was positive. This was especially in relation to eEthos’s asset mapping capabilities and potential to reduce busy workloads through uploading photos to the system instead of taking extensive notes during home inspections.
Community Power has a long history of collaboration with Kwadacha Nation and are continuing to partner on a number of projects to support Kwadacha in achieving its energy efficiency and sustainability vision.
Kwadacha Chief Donny Van Somer and Community Power CEO Areef Abraham strike a pose during the session.