One of the small homes in development at the Lower Kootenay Band. Photo: Aaron Hemens

One of the small homes in development at the Lower Kootenay Band. Photo: Aaron Hemens

Lower Kootenay Band developing energy-efficient small homes for members

There are two, 600 sq. ft., small homes currently in the works that are expected to be completed in April.

With two small homes already in development, the Lower Kootenay Band (LKB) is hoping to make these energy-efficient and affordable homes a regular alternative for Band members in the near future.

The two, 600 sq. ft., small homes currently in the works are expected to be completed in April.

The homes are heated by a mini-split heat pump, and according to Debbie Edge-Partington, the housing coordinator at the LKB, the homes fall under step five of the BC Energy Step Code. Homes that fall into this category are net-zero energy ready — the most energy-efficient home that can be built today.

“Anytime I would see a Band member, I would ask them what their thoughts are on new housing and what they would like to see,” said Edge-Partington. “A lot of the Band members — those that are single — would love to have a smaller home.”

Each home comes with a master bedroom, a smaller room, a living room and kitchen space. They will also be equipped with an energy-efficient stackable washer and dryer. They are also level-entry for people with disabilities.

In addition to meeting the needs of the community, Edge-Partington said that the homes are designed to diversify the Band’s housing scene with smaller, energy-efficient houses for single people, Elders or small families.

“We’re just trying to have homes for single people and have family homes,” she said.

“It could be for singles. It could be a parent and a child. It could be for husband and wife. There’s options, which is the nice thing about these. It’s listening to what the community needs are.”

She added that having these smaller home options could allow for Band members to return home.

“There are a lot of single people living in big homes or crowded housing, so this will help eliminate some of those issues, as well as being able to empty out some of the family homes for community members who want to come back to LKB,” she said.

The construction of the two homes, which began in September 2020, is phase one of the LKB’s development of small homes. Phase two is planned for this fall, which will see four more small homes built and located near the LKB’s upcoming new health centre.

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