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Yukon First Nation to build tiny houses while teaching trades skills

The Carcross Tagish First Nation in Yukon is selecting 16 people to build three tiny houses and learn valuable trade and employment skills.
The Carcross Tagish First Nation launched a new project yesterday: 16 people are being selected to build three tiny houses starting in the new year, and learn valuable trade and employment skills. (CBC)

Sixteen people from the Carcross Tagish First Nation in Yukon are being selected to build three tiny houses, giving them a chance to learn skills in carpentry, plumbing, wiring and drywalling.

"And if they are interested in getting into those sub-trades, we will work with them on getting the upgrading,” says Nelson Lepine, the First Nation’s director of infrastructure and finance.

Lepine is determined to help the participants overcome their challenges in finding work.

"For example, if they don't have a driver's licence, then we're going to look at a training program for them."

Lepine says the decision to build tiny houses rather than regular homes was easy. “We’re trying to reduce the own-end cost for citizens,” he says. “We want them to have the ability to maintain a unit efficiently and easily.” Part of that is offering people homes with low energy costs.

Jeff Sloychuk, with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, says the program will also help labour shortages in the territory.

"To ensure that when there's work happening in the Yukon, there's less fly-in, fly-out, and more local opportunities."

The project will also provide much-needed housing to the First Nation, and the skilled tradespeople needed to build more.

"The intent behind this is that the successful candidates will actually move from this training program over to actually building additional units for us up in our new subdivision," Lepine says.

Construction on the three tiny houses will start in February.

Lepine aims to have the houses done by summer.

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