Tiny Home Communities Offering Hope to Homeless Veterans and More!
Canadian communities are recognizing that tiny home villages can offer viable housing solutions for homeless veterans and low-income households.
This week I read an article about how the Calgary Homes for Heroes Foundation started working on over a dozen 275 square foot homes for homeless veterans in the Calgary area. While looking into this a bit more, I then learned that there are approximately 2,600 homeless veterans in Canada, 250-300 in Calgary alone. What?!
Homelessness may not come as a great shock to you as those of you living in larger urban centres have likely seen evidence of homelessness while walking through the streets and parks. Even yours truly had an experience with homelessness as a child. The shame and stigma that goes along with that is something I will never forget.
What pleases me though, is that local government bodies are now looking to tiny homes as a good solution to help those obtain affordable housing. We aren’t just talking about veterans here, however, I don’t know about you but hearing about our veterans being homeless particularly offends my sensibilities.
We’re also referring to a group of people who either have fallen on hard times or possibly younger generations that see the skyrocketing cost of housing. With the new mortgage stress test that came into effect last January, “Anyone taking out an uninsured mortgage must be able to prove that they could continue to make their payments if their interest rate rose by two percent, or to two percent more than the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate.” OUCH!
Take a look at the video clip inside the Global news article of what the new veteran’s tiny house community in Calgary will look like. You must admit, this is super cute!
As the housing crisis increases, more local advocates are pressuring their government bodies to change bylaws where it makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to erect a tiny home due to their small footprint and the stigma that goes along with this lifestyle. Residents that live in conventional housing fear the reduction of their property values or think it allows for the ‘riff-raff’ to invade their space. Grrr, don’t get me started!
Student Housing – Micro Apartments
There is another sector of our community that is also adversely affected by skyrocketing rent - the future of our country - students! It’s bad enough that tuition fees go up every year, but these kids also need to find housing. Enter – Micro Boutique Living! This is a company that has come up with a unique and affordable way to provide housing to students out on the east coast of Canada. Currently, they have two building in Nova Scotia and a third in development in PEI. Here’s what the company’s president had to say, “The units are converted to hotel rooms during the summer months, which gives students the option of leaving when school ends instead of being locked into a year-long contract.
Depending on the location, the apartments start at about $800 per month for a school-year lease, with a full-year lease starting at $695 per month.”
You can read the full story here. Be sure to watch the video. These 300 square foot units are so adorable not to mention, functional.
Rent-to-Own Your Own Tiny Home!
Here’s an innovative idea I hope will grow (hopefully a foundation) in Canadian communities. Meet the lovely Rev. Faith Fowler who is the Executive Director of the Cass Community Social Services. They are developing 25 different tiny homes in Detroit, Michigan ranging from 250 square feet to 400 square feet. Here’s where it gets interesting. Occupants, all classified as low income, will pay rent based on $1 per square foot of their home (i.e., occupant pays $250/monthly for a 250 sq.ft. home). In 7 years, they can have their tiny home completely paid for and it is theirs! At that point, they can choose to sell their tiny home for say, $40,000-$50,000 allowing them to buy something else. You can view the full article here. Is that genius, or what?
Check out the video below. This tiny home is so brilliantly laid-out, I couldn't resist including it. Kudos to the woman in the video that designed it. She rocks!
Open Concept Tiny House with Elevator!
Homelessness is a topic that has always been dear to me given my own experience as a child. What is particularly heart-wrenching though, is how many of our veterans fall into this situation. The good news is that we have forward-thinking communities across the country such as in Calgary, that is addressing this issue with brilliant solutions that offer our country’s best to be treated with the respect they deserve.
Others are developing creative ways to offer affordable housing to students and low-income households.
Could you live in 250 square feet? If you’re already living in a tiny home, I want to hear from you! I want to know about your experience and I mean I want the lowdown on everything you have to say about it! So reach out and let’s chat.