NICHI working alongside Indigenous-led service providers to tackle housing insecurities
November 7, 2023
National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Inc. (NICHI) was created in 2022 to help address the pressing issues of housing adequacy and security — to maintain and create housing and to enforce it as a human right for Indigenous people living in urban, rural, and northern communities across Canada. Many of these communities are facing a severe lack of affordable and safe housing, which is only furthered by buildings with infestations, poor water, and in unsafe locations. NICHI aims to help those experiencing housing insecurity, whether it be homelessness, precariously housed, or at risk of violent situations.
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Reoccupying the land: Horse Dance Lodge sets a new standard for transitional housing
October 26, 2023
For many First Nations peoples, a safe and affordable home has been strategically kept out of reach – they were not allowed off the reserve for a time period, not allowed to own a house on the reserve, and unable to build equity as generations of non-Indigenous people have done, and Architect David Fortin says a project like the Silver Sage Housing Corporation Horse Dance Lodge is a step in the right direction to start addressing these types of inequalities.
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Silver Sage Housing Corporation Finishes Regina’s First Rapid Housing Initiative Project
September 15, 2023
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. The project broke ground in September of last year, with Big Block Construction overseeing the design-build stage of the development.
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YWCA Saskatoon announces expansion to empower women in need
September 7, 2023
YWCA Saskatoon has announced an exciting expansion of its Crisis Shelter & Residence, with the organization embarking on a transformative journey to address the urgent need for safe and supportive housing in the community. The expansion project involves the construction of a new 35-unit transitional housing development, aimed at providing affordable residential units and support programming to women and their children who are fleeing traumatic and violent situations.
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Maximizing efficiency: The unique process of designing for modular construction
August 17, 2023
Designing housing for modular construction is a unique process in the building industry — it requires careful consideration from the early stages of the project to ensure efficient and cost-effective results. There are some specific methods modular-built housing uses that differ from traditional stick building, including building for increased rigidity during transport and craning. We also try to complete as much as possible in the factory, especially in areas where on-site labour is both premium and scarce. These types of considerations change the way we need to approach our projects.
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Applying lessons learned from rapid housing to Canada’s Housing Accelerator Fund
June 2, 2023
Saskatchewan has outpaced the national average for construction progress under the Rapid Housing Initiative with 100% of units approved under the first two RHI rounds completed by this fall. The key is collaborative partnerships and advanced construction methods. This article examines what development productivity looks like in practice, and how it relates to the CMHC’s new Housing Accelerator Fund.
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Silver Sage Housing Corp. celebrates milestone at rapid housing project
April 14, 2023
The Home Fire Complex, the City of Regina’s Rapid Housing Initiative project being led by Silver Sage Housing, is one step closer to seeing residents move into their new home later this summer. This week, Big Block Construction, the development partner on the project, completed the modular craning process at the construction site at the corner of Broad Street and 5th Avenue North.
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Modular vs. stick build: The pros and cons of factory and on-site construction
April 5, 2023
As a development partner, Big Block brings two primary methods of construction to the forefront of a project: stick-built and modular construction. Stick-built refers to the traditional method of building a home on-site, while modular construction involves constructing a home in a factory setting and then transporting it to the building site. When we’re helping our partners navigate the development journey, we also need to help them evaluate which method is right for the project. 
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Innovative housing and strategic partnerships: Lessons in pre-development
February 14, 2023
It’s exciting to see a building rise up from the ground and tenants move in, but a successful project begins with good planning in the pre-development stage. At this stage, project teams are securing land and funding, and developing preliminary design concepts. A high level of pre-development helps keep costs stable and allows the project to progress at top speed once it gets going.
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Breathing life into the Home Fire: Indigenous engagement in a rapid housing project
September 28, 2022
Architect David Fortin says translating Indigenous thinking and knowledge into contemporary architectural form is still a relatively new conversation, so when designing for an Indigenous client, he and his team greatly emphasize engagement. David worked on the Silver Sage Housing Corporation’s Horse Dance Lodge / misatimosimôwin mîhkowâp building in North Regina — a transitional place for people in need of immediate housing — and says community engagement was key to the success of the project.
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