Clayoquot Sound First Nations: Green and Culturally Appropriate Residential Housing

Clayoquot SoundFirst Nations housing is in crisis. Overcrowding, toxic mould, poor insulation, and sub-standard construction have all contributed to making First Nations on-reserve housing amongst the worst living conditions within Canada and comparable to those in the developing world. These concerns are compounded by an accelerating need for new housing as the First Nations on-reserve population grows at double the rates of the Canadian average.

In the First Nation communities of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, there are currently plans for more than 300 new homes to be constructed over the next 10 years. With funding from the Vancouver Foundation and the Real Estate Foundation, Sauder S3i has partnered with Ecotrust Canada to examine how best to incorporate both culturally sensitive and green building design into low cost, on-reserve housing in these communities.

The first stage of research was completed in spring of 2011. The finished report provides a framework for decision makers in future stages of the project by presenting current, best practices in residential housing construction, insights from the local community and knowledge gained from other similar programs. The project currently is building off this initial research to work with planners, financing agencies and architects to create new designs for residential homes within the communities, which will culminate in the construction of homes using the principles of the research.

Full Report