Sask. First Nation opts for tiny homes to address urgent housing needs

The tiny homes are meant for single people, but they are expandable if a tenant decides to have a family

A crew of young construction workers is completing a tiny home build in northern Saskatchewan with units intended for single people in English River First Nation.

Construction is just wrapping up on the final home, with eight tiny houses now comprising a new subdivision.

Ashton Potts is from Maskwacsis in Alberta. He cut his teeth building houses on his home reserve.

“It’s been really wonderful actually,” he said. “I’m getting that knowledge, ordering materials and everything. I’m learning new things. I’m meeting new people.”

Like many First Nations, English River has an urgent need for housing, especially for single people. Crew member Isaac Sayese says what they’re doing is important.

“It makes a whole lot of difference, because there’s a lot of housing shortages in town, eh,” he says, “and trying to get a house too for myself because I’ve just got a son and it’s so crowded in my house, big family, so it’s a big help.”

The crew included one woman from English river. Tanya George became known as auntie deadly to the guys.

“Being the only female here, I never thought I’d be working with the guys and they’re very helpful,” she says.

Jayson Noel, with Your Choice Homes, helped English River and other communities access funding from the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trades Commission (SATC). Builds have been happening across the province since last fall.

“Hopefully, we can tally up all the successes and I know there’s many and look to hopefully have the province do it again, but SATC has been a great partner and they’ve made a big difference,” says Noel.

The tiny homes are meant for single people, but they are expandable if a tenant decides to have a family.

Leanne has a certificate in broadcasting and has more than 12 years of radio news experience, both as an anchor and reporter in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Métis journalist is a passionate writer and born storyteller and loves to connect with people and learn about their life experiences.

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