Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
18 THE IETH8RIDGE HERAID Saturdoy, Moy 12, 1773 Eviction looms Renters and purchasers of homes in the Blood Indian bands housing scheme are so far behind in their pay- ments that the project is heading for financial disaster. They can afford to pay, says the project's housing di- rector, but the problem is to get them to understand they must pay. Meanwhile, time and money is running out. If the majority of renters and purchasers of homes through the Blood band's eight-year housing plan don't start 'making payments soon The whole housing program i? going to be in financial trouble, says the Blood band's housing director. Charlie Small Face claims fhe Blood band hasn't put much pressure on renters and purchasers with payments in fault, but says "I think we'll probably have to evict them from their homes if they don't pay pretty soon." Fy .mi GRANT Herald Staff Writer The bo-using program for the Blood Reserve originated H 1967 because many na- fves were without housing rrd others were living in quarters. The Bloods realized a program WES necessary to build homes on a yearly basis so as to housing in the future for the increasing pop- ulation on their reserve. Pete Swartman. district su- pervisor for the Department of Indian .Affairs, says the Blood housing pi-ogram is similar to low rental housing plans in urban areas. "It's a good system in that it allows natives to obtain housing no matter what the financial situation of the individual he said. The Blood band housing program when set up called for 208 new houses to be built and the up-grading of 298 oth- er homes over an eight-year period. First years In the first five years of the program, only 132 homes were built and 50 others up- graded. Mr. Small Face doesn't be- lieve the housing program goals will be realized within the planned time limit be- cause of the home recipients" reluctance to pay their share and the tremendous increase in the cost of homes over the last five years. The plan provides for S3.300 in federal government funds, in Blood band funds, from home recipient's down payment and the re- mainder to be financed through the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Unfortunately the original plan didn't allow for the in- creased cost of manufactur- ing a home, said Mr. Swart- man. Mr. Small Face says the cost of the average home in 1967 w-as S12.000. whfe today the same home costs Choice Most of the houses are pur- chased through Kainai Indus- tries at Standoff, but each home recipient has the choice as to what firm he the house purchased Jim Wallace, cost control- ler with Kainai Industries, says increased labor and ma- terial costs have caused the increase in the cost of a house. He said the situation ic much worse in urban areas because home purchasers also have to face a tremen- dous increase in land value. As a result of the home manufacturing cost increase the Blood band is studying the possibility of revising the housing plan. The Blood band is consid- ering raising their share of each home from to S6.000 and a proposal has been made to the department of Indian affairs to have the federal government's share raised by to Changes in grant The band council also wants to change the program, so the federal grant, the band portion, and the reci- pients' portion cover the total cost of the home. The financial difficulty caused by previous recipients of homes not making their payments has forced the band to consider eliminating the borrowing from the Cen- tral Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Under the housing plan de- signed in 1967, the in federal government funds and the in band Kainai Industries homes for acceptance The Kainai Industries house building plant is oper- ating below capacity because people haven't totally accept- ed factory built homes, says the companies cost control- ler. The plant had to close its doors for a month last win- ter due to a lack of sales which resulted in unsold in- ventory and a large overhead burden. At the time of clos- ure, the company also an- nounced it had been opera- ting at a Joss for a consider- able period of time. The plant reopened March 12 and Jim Wallace says sales are still "not all that hot'1 and the company has 29 homes in stock awaiting a buyer. The houses are in the to range. Mr. Wallace says he is not sure whv some people seem to be leary of the manufac- tured homes. The houses are all ap- proved by the Central Mort- and Housing Corpora- lion before they leave the plant, he said. The construction of a man- ufactured house is more con- sistent than that of a house built on location because it is built on an assembly line. Also, it is built inside at the plant, so it is free of any weather damage during con- struction, he said. There are 22 different sets of plans for the manufac- tured home buyer to choose from and it usually only takes eight days for it to come off the assembly line. The capacity of the Kainai Industries plant at Standoff is three houses a day and the operation of the plant can be rated financially feasible if two houses are built each- day. At the present time, the plant is producing one house a day and is also in the pro- cess of building seven units to be joined later in a "T" form housing complex at the Drumheller Correctional In- stitute. The plants 48-man crew is expected to have the units completed by next Friday with its next chore being that pf joining the units to form. the complex in Drumheller. funds would eventually be re- turned to the Blood band via rent and home payments. The rent and home pay- ments were then to be put into financing housing for the Blood Reserve in the future. Home purchasers are not making their payments to the band, but the majority are covering the Central Mort- gage and Housing Corpor- ation payments, said Mr. Small Face. Future jeopardized Due to the number of hous- ing payments in default the band is not only having to cover some CMHC payments, but they're also receiving very little of the money they planned to use for financing future housing programs on the reserve. Last fall, some home pur- chasers said they weren't making house payments be- the interior of their homes were not completely finished. To eliminate this complaint and to have payments con- tinue the band made the in- terior finishing of the homes a part of their Winter Works Program. The owners were required to sign another agreement to continue payment following completion, but many re- fused saying they wanted the work completed before they would sign. Not completed Air. Small Face says the band couldn't afford to "oper- ate that way" so some homes were not completed. Even some of the owners who had their homes com- pleted under the Winter Works Program still are not making their payments to the band, he said. The Blood band has also built 70 homes under the eight-year housing plan that are being rented to people on the reserve who can't af- ford to purchase a home. The failure of many rent- ers to make their monthly payments is also causing the band grave financial difficul- ties. Part of the financing for Ihe rental housing was ob- tained by the band through CMHC which is being paid off by the band at a month per house. In addition to the loan payments, the band also pays about a month per home for utilities. rent The band rents the houses at SI 12 per month, so even if the tenants are paying their rent the band is in the red for about a month per house. On the positive of the ledger, the band is renting several homes to welfare re- cipients and are receiving the rent money directly from the Department of Health and Social Development. The majority of renters and owners can afford to make their payments, Mr. Small Face said. The band has had to put a gunisnee against the wages of some renters in order to obtain the back-rent owing. "I don't think most of them realize how much utilities their homes use and how much each house is costing the he said. Apparently a lew of the tenants feel they don't have to pay rent on their houses because they belong to the band and part of the band's funds are rightly their funds. "We'll have to try and make them realize they're hurting the program by not Mr. Small Face said. "Unfortunately it will prob- ably take a couple of years to make them realize this." 'Birth control centre's function misunderstood by much of public' Celebrating It was a packed house at the Exhibition Pavilion Friday night os the Grade 12 lethbridge Collegiate Institute students and their guests attended graduation ceremon- ies. Since the school schedules a special awards day in the fall, no awards, scholar- ships or bursaries were presented last light. With graduation ceremonies ever it is now back to the books for the students as they prepare for the fine! examination: in June. Grads told to prepare for lifelong learning Permanent education Is likely a thing of the past, graduates of the Lelhbridge Collegiate Institute v.ere told Friday. Dr. Keith Robin, director of continuing education at the Lethbridge Community Col- lege, said the continuing need to keep retraining and re- educating is important to all members of society. "Five years ago. it was predicted that most work- ers would change their occu- pations at least four times during their lifetime. estimate has not dim- inished, rather, it may have Dr. Robin said. A former vice-principal at LCI before joining the college faculty, Dr. Robin spoke to graduates at their annual banquet in the Lethbridge Exhibition Pavilion. He said there is great po- tential for persons interested in working with a recreation industry. "People don't work as many hours as they used to. We are currently seeing 35 to 40-hour a week contracts. "Full retirement at age 60 is not far away. One doesn't have to be old to retire anymore. "If you don't think this may create great possibilities, just look at the leisure industry tor one Dr. Robin said. He said LCC has enrolled nearly people in more than 135 courses during the past year. "That sajs nothing about enrolments at the YJMCA. YWCA, city recreation and many church groups. Just think of the he said. Dr. Robin said career is choseo by the graduate, the selected occu- pation must be done well. "The output of our effort is always something of which we can be proud. "Let us make certain that it is never a half-hearted, insincere or shoddy product. The smallest job is always worth doing well. "This is called he said. As important as an in- dividual career is. Dr. Robin said, so is personal satisfac- tion. "Certainly your career is important and so is your own individual and independent self. "Look after it. It's you. And that's important he said. Westminster school principal heads administrators' group The principal of Westmins- ster School has been elected president of the Lethbridge Public School Administrators' Association. Elton Tanne. elected to the 1973-74 term of office, will be assisted by association secre- tary Ken Fisher, Westminster vice-principal. The association represents 40 school administrators in the city's public system Abortions are not perform- ed in the back rooms of the Lethbridge Birth Control In- formation Centre but many suspect they are, says a counsellor at the centre. Clarane Bush told The Her- ald that although the centre, at 542 7th St. S., is now in its fifth month of operation, con- fusion still exists in the city as to its role. She said another public misconception is that contra- ceptives are dispensed at the centre. They are not. The centre, financially sup- ported by the municipal and provincial governments, ex- ists only to refer enquiries about contraception and abortion to the qualified med- ical personnel in the city, Ms. Bush said. The centre concentrates on counselling and organizes workshops on subjects asso- ciated with human sexuality. Male and female role, physi- ology, puberty, and the emo- tional and physicial conse- quences of sexual activity are discussed, she said. Ms. Bush, who has a PhD in anatomy and physiology, emphasized that in the coun- selling' of unwanted pregnan- cies, abortion was not con- sidered the only solution. The centre is aware of other agencies in the province that will help unmarried women and refers them there. Since the January opening the centre has had a heavy number of enquiries by both young men and women, many ignorant of male and female physiology. She cited a com- mon myth that the use of one oral contraceptive pill would eliminate any chance of conception. A frivolous attitude to abortion is often held by young people who have not considered the emotional and physiological effects it may have. The staff makes men- tion of these in order that an intelligent decision will be made. Whereas an independent family-planning clinic with its own medical staff would be ideal, Ms. Bush thought that ihe venire ifaiu a job worth doing now with its informa- tion service. The centre rejects the claims that its work breaks up the family unit. Counsel- lors prefer that in unwant- ed-pregnancy cases both the young woman and her par- ents visit the centre, but this is not always possible. "It would be ideal to see a family come in the door to- gether" she said. It has been observed that while university-age women feel they have a right to a knowledge of elementary gynecology the case is not the same for younger women. Free for the asking at the centre are two very good booklets with an internation- al reputation. They are the McGill birth control hand- book and pamphlet on vene- real diseases. Both books ori- ginated in the McGill Univer- sity health collective several years ago, and are now clas- ics distributed across North America. For people who visit the centre there is available a library of other publications. A cross-referenced index has been compiled by the staff for books about human sexu- ality contained in the city and university libraries. This would be of use to people do- ing research. The centre runs a work- shop on Monday nights from 7 to 9 on matters like early problems in sexuality aTid communication problems. If is open to all interested. Ranchers propose special patrol A proposal to organize a special patrol to combat cattle rustling, vandalism, poaching and trespassing in southwestern Alberta will be presented to a general meet- ing of the Foothills Protec- tive Association June 6. Developed at a meeting of association directors this week in Pincher Creek, the proposal would allow the use of volunteers and possibly a paid patrolman to keep watch throughout the region for five months each year. Andy Russell, noted natur- alist from near Waterton says that such a patrol would not. be a policing effort. Any irregularities noticed by the patrol would be reported to the nearest official of the RCMP or the fish and wild- life department. Mr. Russell said the patrol would operate as an educa- tional tool, assisting peop'e visiting the area, giving di- rections for campgrounds, and supervising camping areas. The patrel could consist of radio equipped four wheel drive vehicles operating sev- en days a week during the five-month period. As suggested by the direc- tors, the patrol would be or- ganized under a chairman with a day to day change in patroJ areas. During a given amount of time, all the foot- hills district and the adjoin- ing forest reserve where cat- tle graze would be covered. Finances for the patrol would be obtained from a small levy charged to all cat- tle owners for each animal sold from the distirct. Dona- tions from various business- es in the rural area and pos- sible grants are also being considered. The directors are seeking representation at the June meeting in the Pincher Creek MD building from RCMP, the department of lands and for- ests, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, fish and game associations in southwestern Alberta, the Western Stock Growers Association, Uni- farm, Pincher Creek Com- munity Auction and Fort Macteod Auction Market.