Why we are building tiny homes.
What are we doing to help people?
That’s a question that’s very important to us. We have a great business, two active boys, an extended family and a great passion for sailing, but whenever you look around wherever you live, and we live in Hamilton, Ontario, you see needs that are particular to your region but also widespread across countries.
One of those needs is for more affordable housing. Where we live, housing is quickly becoming unaffordable, especially for new people getting into the market.
We feel that’s a tragedy. People need something that provides a place to enjoy and still feel independent, still get ahead. That to us is a project worth engaging in.
The concept of tiny homes is relatively new. Traditionally, municipalities and governments imposed requirements for the minimum size of houses. But as housing becomes more unaffordable for more people, local governments are looking for ways to help.
Different versions of tiny homes are legal in all kinds of different parts of the States, in Western and Eastern Canada. We are seeing some legislation change in Hamilton and Toronto in the Laneway Suites market. That’s great news. As it stands now, the interior building code doesn't allow a single family home to be less than 800 square feet. You can have a condo that's less. That's part of a bigger building. But you can't have a single dwelling on its own at less than 800 square feet. And then you also have all the by-laws in most of the municipalities that don't allow two dwelling buildings on the same property. So you can have a six-plex, but you can't have a single family home and a single family home.
By allowing these Laneway Suites, governments are passing those two major hurdles. So it's not too much of a far cry to say that in a few years, we'll be allowed to have those permanent dwellings that are not accessible by a laneway. We call those Garden Suites. And you'll be able to walk from the main street, past the house, to your dwelling.
When you have two rental suits, part of the same property, you are using land optimally, adding density without having to create
new infrastructure, creating more affordable housing and bringing people who might otherwise rent into the housing market.
It’s a win for everyone.
September 12, 2018