Mold Program

In partnership with Jacques Whitford and the Bank of Montreal, Cowichan has developed one of the leading home rehabilitation programs among First Nations.

By the 1990's virtually every home on the Reserve was infected with mould to varying degrees of severity.  In addition, may homes had been insulated with asbestos.  In 1998 this situation reached epidemic proportions and was declared a public health emergency.

A priliminary assessment was made of all the homes on the Reserve.  A pilot program was then undertaken to determine the best process to address the problem.  Cowichan Tribes is now systematically rehabilitating or reconstructing all of the homes, and is in the second phase of a three-phase program.

Jacques Whitford conducted a priliminary assessment and worked directly with Cowichan Tribes in setting up the Mould Program, gradually transferring skills to the point that Cowichan is now able to undertake most of the work in-house.

Assessment 
Each home is investigated to determine the cause and extent of mould, and then an appropriate combination of programs is chosen based on certain criteria.
 
Relocation
Before work commences, residents are moved to temporary housing.  This is upsetting for most members, but necessary to ensure their health and safety.  The Mould Nurse on staff advises families of the relocation procedure and assesses furniture to determine what items are infected with mould and need to be thrown away.  The Disaster Aid team assists families and their relocation.

Did you know ....

Only 38% of funding for the Mold Program comes directly from government.  The rest is financed by Cowichan Tribes through its own-source revenue and mortgages and loans with the Bank of Montreal.
Abatement/Demolition
Mould-infected materials are removed from the home.  In severe cases, the homes are demolished.
 
Reinstatement/Reconstruction 
Homes that have been abated are stored and preventive measures taken to avoid mould reoccurrence.  This includes such things as sealing foundation cracks, ensuring exhaust systems are vented to the outdoors, and ensuring plumbing leaks are sealed.  New homes are built to replace those that have been demolished.
 
Building Inspection
All homes undergo regular inspections to ensure that the work is carried out properly and built to design standards.