IMAGE: This image by Studio 9 Architecture + Planning Ltd provides an idea of what our housing may look like. As our project is still in the design and development phase, details may change.
An Indigenous-led Approach to Affordable Housing for Indigenous Families and Elders in Smithers, B.C.
The community’s first-urban based Indigenous-led housing development, located at 1621 Main St, will provide 30 affordable homes for families and Elders living off-reserve. The three-storey building will be designed to reflect the diversity of local Indigenous cultures, reaffirming our commitment to providing unique, culturally supported housing to our community.
Building on direct community feedback, the unit mix will consist of studios, as well as one, two, three, and four-bedroom homes. The development will include landscaped green space, a playground incorporating Indigenous cultural features and onsite parking. To create a sense of belonging and community, the building will also include a cultural amenity space that is multi-functional to meet the diverse needs of residents and the wider community. The cultural space will offer a connection point for Elders and families, a place for gatherings, celebrations and other community events, as well as space for people to reconnect with their cultural and find support while doing so.
The Dze L K’ant Housing Society is committed to providing a culturally safe space for our residents, which will include:
- A diverse range of cultural workshops, healing sessions and activities for all ages.
- An on-site support worker, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, who will work to support clients and organize activities within the cultural amenity space.
- Ensure Elders and families can come together to support multi-generational healing and provide support systems.
- Healing and counselling rooms which will provide spaces for families to meet confidentially with each other and their workers to further their holistic health journeys.
Groundbreaking for the building is expected in spring 2023, with the new homes welcoming residents by the end of 2024. The location of the proposed building is ideal due it’s proximity to Smithers’ downtown core and amenities including schools, transit, medical services and more.
The project is a testament to what can be achieved through the power of partnerships. The Dze L K’ant Housing Society is working with the provincial government, through BC Housing, the federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, as well as the Town of Smithers, who have provided a municipally owned site on which the project will be located. The operating agreement will be managed by the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.