Sheila Charles has always been an advocate for Huu-ay-aht citizens. As an elected councillor for two terms, she was instrumental in making the Social Services Project a reality and improving so many lives through this process. She will now turn her attention to the housing needs of her Nation.
Sheila joined Team Huu-ay-aht and takes over the responsibility for housing for the Nation.
“I’m excited about the challenge this position presents,” she says. “I look forward to helping get our citizens into healthy living arrangements – ones where they will feel happy and safe and find a sense of pride.”
Her position is new to the Huu-ay-aht administrative team, and it is still a work in progress. Sheila says this will be a rewarding job as she gets to work with the team to ensure the new housing position is a “made in Huu-ay-aht” model. She plans to consult with other organizations, like the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, to see what she can learn from what they are doing in housing. For the most part, Huu-ay-aht will be creating a position that will help address the specific needs coming from the Nation’s community. Prior to this change, direction came from the Housing Oversight Board.
In her new role, Sheila will oversee all the Huu-ay-aht rental properties. She will also be a contact for citizens who need help with their current housing or assistance finding a new place to live. She also sees ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the rental units as an important part of her job.
“We want citizens to know they are supported,” Sheila says. “It is important that we offer them security as we would like to see more citizens move home.”
Sheila acknowledges she has a lot of work ahead of her and lots to learn along the way.
“Learning as I go along is very familiar from the days I spent on Executive Council,” she explains. “I’m excited for the challenge and can’t wait to see more citizens getting into housing and moving home.”
Sheila will also offer help with the application process and other housing needs. She wants to remind citizens that information is available on Huu-ay-aht’s website (https://huuayaht.org/housing/) if they need to apply for housing or have other questions. She wants to remind citizens that the deadline for to apply for housing is March 1 of every year, as outlined in the Social Housing Regulation. Citizens can also email her directly at Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-731-5676.