Unable to find accessible and affordable housing, she will move to a tiny house

Unable to find accessible and affordable housing, she will move into a tiny house


A Montrealer in a wheelchair will move into a tiny house built by her sister after having unsuccessfully knocked on all the doors to find accessible and affordable housing.

“There is an access ramp, eventually we will make a small patio where I will be able to put my barbecue. Everything will be accessible so that I can move around alone,” rejoices Nathalie Bédard, who has lived for five years with her little dog in an apartment in Tétreaultville, in the east of Montreal. 

Original from Rigaud, the 56-year-old was born with spina bifida, a birth defect of the spine that required her to walk around on crutches from the age of 12. 

In the midst of a pandemic two years ago, she broke her hip and ended up in a wheelchair. She could no longer walk up and down the steps leading to her apartment.

“I found it so sad that she was a prisoner in her apartment on the second floor. I told him: “If you feel like it, we can build something”, explains his sister, Chantal Bédard.

From town to country

She is lucky to have a large piece of land in Eastern Ontario, where she can accommodate her sister, to whom she has always been close.

In Montreal, Nathalie had exhausted her other options.

“I knocked on all doors: HLM, subsidized housing, coops, associations for people with reduced mobility. Prices have exploded. […] I even looked outside of Montreal. But even in the regions, it was expensive, at least $1,000 a month,” underlines the one who works as a saleswoman in a home tool shop and who does not have a big income. 

< p>She is aware that moving to her sister will be a big change.

“My sister, she lives in a row, in the real real countryside. Of course, at the time, I said to myself: “Ayoye, I'm going to freak out in the woods”. But basically, as long as you stay in my cabin…”, says the mother of three grown children aged 21 to 30.

Under construction, the mini-house will be equipped with a ramp to be accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Mutual assistance and recycling 

In September, the tiny house was delivered to the site, and Chantal is in the process of finishing with second-hand materials, helped by her husband and sons.

She will cover the costs of approximately $40,000 and Nathalie will pay rent of $600 per month. 

“I have five children. Everyone is enthusiastic to welcome aunt Nathalie here. For us, it's natural to help each other,” says Chantal.

“Nathalie is a bit of a clown, she's a girl who loves life, who laughs a lot. It will be good for everyone, for her too,” she adds.