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Community Contributions

Tayven Roberts knows his role with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band is a life-changer for many people. Roberts, as the director of Public Works and Housing, is responsible for housing renovations for people living in La Ronge, Sucker River and Hall Lake.

Every year, Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership (KMLP) hands over a lot of money--this year, Roberts presides over $510,000 – and he must use it towards providing a new lease on life for dozens of people annually. It is part of the funds given by KMLP for community contributions that benefit many people across the north to ensure a better quality of life.

"Basically, it is to be used for renovations on peoples' home," says Roberts. "We strip the houses down to the bare bones – the foundation, wood framing, the trusses are all that is left before we get to work." The money contributed from KMLP and additional funding from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) goes directly to each housing rebuild.

"All together, the average cost for renovations is about $100,000 to do a total rebuild," says Roberts. "It's basically a brand-new house once we are done."

On average, Roberts says building materials cost about $55,000 while labour accounts for the rest of the money.Everything from adding new flooring to new drywall and even to the windows is taken care of by the housing crew.

This year, Roberts says there are 11 houses they will focus on. In previous years, it also has been around 10 houses annually that receive a total renovation. "We don't want to bite off more than we can chew," he says. "We are kept very busy."

The LLRIB has 24 staff in 4 different trades dedicated to the renovation projects. That includes 10 apprentices, seven journeymen and seven labourers.

"We will contract out work as well," says Roberts. That is done when there are scheduling difficulties for various tradespeople. Primarily, any extra tradespeople needed will be drawn from a pool of band contractors.

Because of the extensive nature of the renovations, Roberts says it takes between six and nine months to complete any rebuild. And because of the time of year, he has to take into consideration what needs to be done and when to ensure everything is handled efficiently. So, every year, Roberts knows the work the LLRIB is doing is making lives better for many of the band members. "Yeah, I'm happy with what we are doing."