The Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) has hired Linda E. Ross Property Management Inc. (LER) to develop Siem Lelum (Respected House), which provides 41 units of safe and affordable residential housing for Aboriginal young parents and their children, grandparents raising grandchildren, single young adults who are working and/or attending school, and young adults who are aging out of Foster Care. In addition, the VNFC hired LER to Property Manage the site and ensure that effective systems for overall property management and tenant relations were established. Ultimately, LER will mentor and train a Property Manager from the VNFC to take over this role.
The primary purpose of Siem Lelum is:
- To create a safe, affordable, supported and holistic “Urban Village” where life long skills and a healthy life style will be modeled, and the necessary resources provided to encourage healthy choices;
- To renew traditional community based practices and help build community wellness and sustainability;
- To empower Aboriginal people on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish People and help them to regain health and pride of belonging.
The East Building (Phase 1), which opened for occupancy on June 1st, 2013, has 9 small family units, 3 – 1 bedroom units and 14 – studio units.
The West Building (Phase 2), which opened for occupancy on August 1st, 2017 has 4 -3 bedroom units, 10 – 2 bedroom units, and 1 bedroom unit.
The Community Building (Phase 2), is the heart of the urban village, and is used for a multitude of purposes including parenting classes, language classes, after school study groups, computer courses and cooking classes, including traditional practices such as canning fish, jam making, and freezing food. The building, which includes offices for the Property Manager and Tenant Support Worker, helps to draw Tenants into a space where they can learn, laugh and play.