IMAGE: Dze L K’ant Affordable Housing Project Design Studio 9 Architecture + Planning Ltd
Dze L K’ant Affordable Housing for Indigenous Families and Elders in Smithers, B.C.
The Dze L K’ant Housing Society is currently developing our community’s first-urban based Indigenous-led housing development. This project will be located at 1611 Main St on municipal land provided by the Town of Smithers through a long-term lease agreement.
The construction of this 37-unit housing project, is funded by BC Housing with ongoing subsidy provided by the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) and will provide culturally safe and affordable homes for Indigenous families and Elders living off-reserve in our communities.
The location of the building is ideal due its proximity to Smithers’ downtown core and amenities including schools, transit, medical services and is walking distance to the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre.
The three-storey building is being designed to reflect the diversity of local Indigenous cultures, and will instil a sense of cultural pride and belonging. Building on direct community feedback, the homes in the building will include bachelor suites, as well as one, two, three, and four-bedroom homes, which will support growing families and intergenerational living. The development will include landscaped green space, a playground incorporating Indigenous cultural features and onsite parking for residents.
The ground floor of the building is designed to have a welcoming reception area, a multi-purpose cultural amenity space, a community kitchen and a healing room. These culturally safe spaces 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 connect, access supports and heal.
Ground-breaking for the building is expected in spring 2024, with the new homes welcoming residents by the end of 2025.
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 and AHMA and 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.