Restore a Cape Breton “Company House”: Green, Affordable HousingCape Breton University


Now why not help promote this idea?


Vote for this idea


  • • Provide affordable housing by restoring an existing, vacant building
  • • Train college apprentices while revitalizing a neighbourhood
  • • Get students involved in community development
  • • Restore an iconic, historic Cape Breton “company house”
  • • Find green, innovative, low-cost ways to fix a house

Gallery See all videos & photos


We want to show how a vacant company house can be a model for green, affordable housing. A historic workers dwelling on Mechanic Street (c. 1890s) in the town of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (home of 'The Men of the Deeps';), is being donated for the project. We're working with neighbors, local community groups, university students, college apprentices, environmental groups, and heritage activists to bring the house back to life to benefit Habitat for Humanity and a family in great need of safe affordable housing. We want to make this home super-energy-efficient and modernize the inside by using salvaged or surplus materials from other building or demolition projects. We'll then take what we learned and apply it to another vacant home so that the community impact of the project will be all the more. Our information, and the techniques we develop, will be publicized to help anyone else who is working to renovate and revitalize company houses.

Community Benefit

There is an urgent need for affordable housing in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Waiting lists for public housing are long and vacancy rates on the open market low, forcing many families into unsafe and/or unaffordable accommodation. Meanwhile the CBRM estimates that 700 dwellings stand empty within its borders. Vacant houses can become a target for crime and other anti-social behviour leading to a blight on entire streets and neigborhoods. The Cape Breton Company House is on Heritage Canada's 'Top 10 Endangered List' and is increasingly seen as iconic of our heritage. This project offers the community a method for rescuing an iconic company house, to start to address the derelict housing crisis in the CBRM and to provide a safe and affordable home for a family in need all in one great project. It would turn a vacant building into someones home and help rejunivate a community. Painting by local artist Diane Lawrence.

How will the $25K be used?

$ 3,200 Gut interior of the house
$ 14,000 Rebuild the house foundations, joists and perimeter pony wall
$ 4,800 Replace roof asphalt shingles
$ 3,000 Rebuild back door

Thank you for voting! Why not help promote this idea?

Vote for this idea

0 COMMENTSloading content