Four “tiny houses” have been constructed on Nak’azdli Reserve as a pilot project to oversee housing issues in the area.
Aileen Prince, Nak’azdli housing coordinator is thrilled with the project so far.
“It was a matter of exploring different options,” Prince said. “We considered who we thought the best candidates would be. Who will appreciate this most?”
“We knew we wanted to fulfill a need for “couch surfers”, those who are marginalized and those who have never had the opportunity to own their own home,” Prince said.
According to Prince, the majority of these people are over 45, single and have lived alone most of their adult lives.
Construction is now complete and residents are ready to move in.
“Limits regarding payments have been made. This is an opportunity for them to own their own home, at a minimum cost and with a lower mortgage,” Prince said.
“Many of these people are turned down when it comes to benefits. They deserve the same opportunities,” Prince said.
“It’s amazing. We have had interest from community members young and old.”
In future, Prince hopes that these housing opportunities will continue to not only help those marginalized but also include a cost effective way to carry over elder housing options.
“A tiny house can be constructed on a property where an existing larger house is located and the elder can move into the tiny house while the rest of the family lives in the larger home,” Prince said.
Prince is grateful for all of the support received from Nak’azdli Band Council.
“It’s amazing what we can do as a community.”
Landscaping is planned for the tiny houses in spring and talks are even in the works for a possible green space, smoke house and outside fire area.
Plans are also being made to build four more tiny houses in 2017.
For Prince, it’s all about being able to help those who need it most.
“For me, everyone should have the same opportunities, the same benefits as everyone else.”