Canim Lake Band is bolstering its housing supply with tiny homes.
The band participated in a ground-breaking ceremony last week for four tiny homes and one three-bedroom house in the community. Three Feathers Construction, a Canim Lake Band entity, is expected to start building this week.
“It’s the first time for tiny homes in our community. The reason we prioritized tiny homes is we have a lot of single members in our community in need of housing,” Chief Helen Henderson said, noting staff have worked diligently over the past few years applying for renovation grants. “With all the innovation in tiny homes right now we thought we should take this opportunity.”
Henderson said the Band has not built any new housing for the past 11 years, and the goal is to “have 100 percent housing for all our members.” The Band, which has 250 members who live in the community and 350 off-reserve, currently manages about 84 housing units on-reserve.
“We have families that share space, we have couch surfers … just like anywhere else,” she said. “This is one step toward housing all our Tsq’escen’mec. As Secwepemc, our value is to collectively ensure our housing needs for all.”
The Canim Lake Band has partnered with Indigenous Services Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada to finance construction of the units, which will be equipped with energy-efficient systems such as solar panels. Henderson noted the band will have a selection process to determine who will get one of the coveted homes.
“We anticipate this list is going to be quite lengthy,” she said, joking: “I want a tiny home.”