The Tiny Town Association

News and information about making a legal place for Tiny Homes and creating a place for vulnerable people to regain their independence.

Keeping the news flowing

Oddly enough, sometimes posting what is happening is the most difficult to do, simply because so much is happening. I always chuckle to myself when someone asks me what is new, I think you really don't what to know because it could take hours to bring you up to speed. Anyway, here goes:

I have been working on numbers to determine the size of a bio-digestor to process waste in a Tiny Town. Using data from toilet manufacturers, I have calculated that a town at startup would produce on average 15 cubic metres of waste per day and a town at capacity around 1,250. As much of this is water, further investigation is required to determine if this needs to be separated before processing. I still would like to try and determine what quantity of NG that may be produced based on these numbers.I participated in the Ontario BudgetTalks in Ottawa on Tuesday. Although my proposal did not make it into the shortlist for this year, I feel that participating in the talks helped me gain a better understanding of the process and will allow me to create better proposals moving forward.I am working on a Canada-wide survey to collect data on Canadians' perspective on Tiny Homes. The intent is to gain an understanding of Canadians feelings about tiny as a housing option and to expand awareness of our association's purpose. Here are some of the questions we have come up with so far:Do you know what a Tiny House is? Yes | NoIf Yes: Have you considered living in a Tiny House? Yes | NoIf Yes: If a town was created for Tiny Homes within commuting distance of where you live now, would you consider moving to a Tiny House in a Tiny Town? Yes | NoIf Yes: What do you think would be a reasonable monthly rent for a site in a Tiny Town that included: utilities, TV, internet, etc? $600 | $500 | $400 | $300 | $200 per monthIf Yes: Would you buy or build a tiny home? Buy | BuildIf Buy: What would you expect to pay for a Tiny Home?less than $60,000 | around $60,000 | more than $60,000If Build: What do you expect it would cost to build a Tiny Home?less than $40,000 | around $40,000 | more than $40,000Would you need to finance a Tiny Home? Yes | NoDo you think there should be government standards that certify the liveability and safety for Tiny Homes? Yes | NoIf Yes: Would you buy and live in a Tiny Home that was not certified if it was built by:A company: Yes | NoAn individual: Yes | NoWould you hesitate to buy a Tiny Home that was CSA certified? Yes | NoI spoke with CSA the other week to determine the process to develop a Tiny Home Standard. They are speaking with the government to see if there is another initiative planned to address tiny homes or whether developing a set of CSA standards would be preferable. I hopefully will get some feedback on this next week.We have been working with #GreenTerraHomes to design our model home for our ARTO program, the Logan32 (named after the largest mountain in Canada). We have a basic design and are looking forward to ordering one for our 2018 tour.We are in the process of revamping the Transitional Housing Program into the ARTO Program. We are working on repackaging the program to more closely fit with existing government affordable housing programs. The ARTO Program will allow program participants to own their own Tiny Home after providing community service house in Tiny Towns over a 10 year period. Plan > Program > BackgroundWe have opened the Advisory Board Discussion forum to encourage more discussions from all members on the topics posted and to allow all association members to post topics. Please participate in topics of interest.We are looking at redesigning the Association website's homepage to provide easier access to areas of interest and making links to more frequently updated information more accessible. Stay tuned.We have been working on drafting a request for corporate sponsors to support the 2018 tour. More details to follow.We have been working on the 2018 Tiny Home Town tour. This tour is planned to take a Logan32 on the road to various events and cities across Canada to raise awareness of tiny home living and our Tiny Town initiatives. More details to follow.

A change in stats

I modified the stats on the Association website today to reflect a modified long-term plan for the towns. While the initial number of sites per town will only be 10% (108) of a town's capacity, the new stats reflect a town's population at maximum density. The numbers are based on the new site POD plans posted earlier in the Advisor Discussion forum and include 10% for greenspace and town administration areas. The stats also reflect a larger town staff to resident ratio of 1 to 75. With the proposed 10 hrs per month of volunteer time by residents and 32 hrs per month for ARTO Program participants, this is expected to cover the anticipated town needs at this point.

The greenspace allowance is planned to include some centralized administration space which will include the BioGas processing plant. I am attending a seminar and tour with Mike Janiec which is being hosted by CCIBioEnergy. We are talking with them about providing waste/compost processing solutions town-wide, to produce our own renewable natural gas (RNG). At this point, the plan is to use RNG to supply the town's tiny homes NG needs and to act as back electricity production to supplement solar production. Each POD will have its own solar energy production and storage facility (see the POD designs) and the RNG will supplement this if the solar storage is depleted. Presently we have planned 8 solar panels per tiny home and are expecting that will allow us to store enough power to get us through dark times. 

I have also been discussing the solar panel design with Mike to maximize solar collection and storage for the Canadian locations and will post more news as talks progress. Look for more details coming in the forum.

 

Proposed BioGas Processing

I reached out to the board of the Canadian BioGas Association yesterday requesting that they direct me to any members that could assist in the development of a biogas processing/waste management plan for our Tiny Towns.

The current trend in tiny home designs supports independence through off-grid living. This home model has a higher initial acquisition cost and requires specialized knowledge to operate and maintain. This makes an off-grid home less than an ideal design to fit our housing model, one that is more affordable and where anyone can live in. We instead are developing the concept of off-grid towns. The idea is that the town itself will be self-sufficient, generating its own hydro, natural gas, processing its own waste, producing some of its own food. We are working to design a town plan which will be as green as possible, so we are following all leads and ideas to determine which are best suited to incorporate into each town.

The BioGas initiative is to convert human waste and organics generated by the town into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) that can then be used to operate natural gas appliances and generate power for the town to supplement the solar program.

Here is the request that was sent to their board:

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Research Study Project

The Research Study Project that was circulated amongst the Advisory Board back in September, after including the recommendations of the Board, was forwarded to 140 faculty, staff and administrators of MBA and Undergraduate programs at Universities across Canada last week. We have received early interest from a number of schools and the project is being presented to students now and will be in January, then again in September. We are hopeful that additional schools will choose to support the study over the course of the submission period. Once we have confirmation of which schools will be participating, I will post a listing of the schools.

A deadline for submissions has been set for November 2018 and we will publish results publically in December 2018.

I am encouraged by the early interest in the project, the details of which may be reviewed here...

Affordable housing floor-plan

Part of the TTA mandate is to design, build and manage affordable tiny houses for vulnerable people transitioning from social assistance housing. The program is designed to allow selected participants to own their own tiny home after a set rental period during which they will be required to perform volunteer hours within the town. You can read about the whole program here...

We have been working on designing a floorplan for these tiny homes and the latest version has been posted to our Board Discussion forum here...

NFP Certification

Just a quick note to keep everyone in the loop. On October 2nd, we received our official certification from Corporations Canada that as of September 29, 2017 we are a Federally incorporated Canadian Not-For-Profit. This certification will allow us to move forward on many of the projects we have on the go, as well as many new projects that are in the planning stages.

As always, if you are available to help out further, please send me a PM. If you know anyone that is interested in making Tiny Homes a viable housing option, introduce them to the website, encourage them to sign the petition and join the association.

Thanks to all.

Tiny Town Association direction refined

The direction of the Tiny Town Association has been refined and the information on the website has been updated to reflect this clarified purpose. We have begun working with a few municipalities to develop Tiny Towns to provide affordable housing in the form of tiny homes. We are also exploring the possibility of producing a base tiny house on wheels for the program. Together this will allow us to begin construction of the first Tiny Town with some affordable tiny homes with occupants in them. Additional spaces will be made available for tiny homeowners that want to book into the vacant sites.

This business model of combining affordable housing and transitional housing, while originally a concept is connecting with existing provincial programs to accelerate the development of the towns. As more towns are added from our target list of host cities, tiny homeowners will have more choices of cites to live "tiny" close to. Stay tuned for announcements of each tiny townsite as they are confirmed.

Most of the menu items have been changed on the site as well as many new items have been added. These include some YouTube items where we are beginning to post videos about tiny home design in addition to community videos. 

The association is working together with some manufacturers to mass produce our custom affordable tiny homes. Stay tuned for more details.

Website updates

I just wanted to update everyone on some new website news.

The website is now secured and you will notice the Secure | https://www.tinytownassociation.com. This ensures that you will not get any notices about unsecured web site logins.The Tiny Home Directory is beginning to grow, thanks and keep recommending those websites that you find to be of interest.I have secured a really impressive prize to the member that has the most successful invites by the end of 2017! If you own, or plan/hope to own a Tiny Home and you are hoping to stay in a Tiny Town, the grand prize will be something that you will value a lot. More details to come, so keep inviting!Disqus commenting is being added throughout the site, so look for your opportunity to share your thoughts.If you have a question about the Tiny Town Association or something related to the website, post your question in the FAQ section. FAQs will help us grow a repository of answers that may help others with similar questions.

If you have some time that you can volunteer to help us with some of the admin/website/association promotions, update your member profile and let us know. If you aren't a member, Join and indicate you would like to Volunteer. 

Website links directory launched

We have launched our new Tiny Home Directory which we have dubbed "Our world of Tiny Homes". We want to build a resource for owners and wannabes to help us navigate the growing Tiny Home industry. If you have a tiny home related website or offer products and services for tiny homes, or you find a really great website, YouTube channel, etc. that you want to share with the community, we encourage you to submit it under Recommend a website. 

Being listed in the directory is free, as we want to build the most comprehensive directory possible. All we ask is a link reference to the association website on your site so that we can spread the word about our Tiny Town mission. As the industry comes together, we can make Tiny Homes a viable housing option, now and for the future.

Advisory Board Discussions are now Open

I have now begun posting to the Advisory Board Discussions. This is where all plans and discussions about the direction of the Tiny Town Association will develop. All members of the Advisory Board are encouraged to follow and comment in any discussion that interests you, as this will form the basis for the Associations actions.

The first discussion started is regarding designing the model for Tiny Towns. I believe that building with a plan will create a better town, so I have posted my initial thoughts (well thoughts that have developed over the last year or so) and I look forward to the board's comments. I have started with the town design as a discussion as I am beginning discussions with suppliers about town services.

Currently the Advisory Board is open to new members, so if you think you can contribute to the association's plans, I encourage you to become a member of the board. Simply log into the site and update your profile to indicate you want to join the board or register and select Advisory Board member as a way you would like to Participate.

100,000 Supporters

Our goal is to get 100,000 people to sign our petition to prove to the municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments that Tiny Homes, and our Tiny Town initiative is something to be taken seriously. Once we have reached our target, we will present our Petition, along with our plan to make Tiny Towns a reality to all levels of government.

We are not looking to just advocate our plan, we want to enact our plan by acquiring the land, getting the correct Tiny Town zoning applied, developing the land based on the town model we are designing, then make the sites available to tiny homeowners. We are beginning discussions with some tiny home builders about construction of our social program homes, and plan to have some available in each Tiny Town when they open.

So help us get to 100,000 signatures. Tell everyone you know that has an interest in tiny homes about the association. Post us on your social feeds. When you are logged into the website, within your profile is an Invite tab. You can send invites to your friends from your profile and track who signs up. This will also track how many people that you recommend to us, sign the petition. Maybe we'll award a prize to the member that gets the most  people to sign the petition. I am not promising anything here, because a prize is not the reason to tell people about the association. It is the strength in numbers that 100,000 signatures brings to the table. So help us grow!

 

Follow Tiny Home Communities in the News

We have begun collecting the latest news stories that relate to Tiny Home communities from across the web. The news that we find relevant to communities we are posting an intro in our News category and linking to the original story. If you have an interest in Tiny Home communities, you will be able to follow the latest news, as it breaks through the association site. 

We have also begun filtering through YouTube videos that are relevant to our THOWs community cause and are linking to them in our News category as well.

Our aim is to bring together everything that relates to THOWs communities on this website to assist the policy makers, homeowners, and partner corporations with a single portal to everything that is Tiny Town relevant. If you find information that you think is of value, send us a link to our Contact Us page, or join the association yourself!

Tiny Town Association website is active

The Tiny Town Association website is now active. We have been working hard to formalize our Mission and create a direction towards achieving our goals. While we understand that as new information arises and we move through the plan as it exists today, modifications and improvements will be required to bring a version of our vision to reality. ...
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Looking for Corporate Partners

​ If you are a company with products or services that you feel will benefit our Tiny Town initiative and/or our Tiny Home social agenda, we encourage you to join our membership and indicate your interest in becoming a corporate partner. Your expertise in your field will be a welcome addition to our project development and its ultimate success. If y...
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