inFILL Housing

Tiny homes as a secondary or auxiliary dwelling unit.

inFILL Housing

*for simplicity, when we reference cities we are including both cities and municipalities.

THOWs located on a lot that has an existing residential building is referred to as inFILL housing. The THOWs becomes an auxiliary or secondary dwelling on the property providing an independent and complete living space. Tiny home inFILL housing will not work in all locations.

inFILL increases the number of people living on a piece of land while maintaining independent living accommodations. They can increase housing density in a way that can adapt quickly to demand, yet doesn't permanently affect the site.

Cities can regulate tiny home inFILL housing through annual permits and by identifying locations where tiny home inFILL housing is permitted. They can generate additional revenue per lot through permitting, without a significant burden to the existing city infrastructure.

Pros

  • Cities can increase density without major infrastructure changes
  • Tiny homes as inFILL housing can easily be reversed returning the property to a single residential property
  • Cities can regulate the location of tiny home inFILL housing through identifying areas where they are allowed and through permitting
  • Cities can increase revenue through the annual inFILL permit process
  • The cost to develop an inFILL site is born by the property owner and is recovered through the site rental fees
  • The inFILL housing program increases property density in city areas that may already have been fully developed as traditional housing
  • The tiny home inFILL housing program can generate income for the traditional homeowner, without the expense of building it themselves
  • The inFILL program can provide tiny homeowners with a site that is close to amenities, work, and the city core
  • Tiny home inFILL housing can provide affordable accommodation for seniors while allowing them to maintain their independence

Cons

  • Cities will need to identify inFILL sites for emergency services
  • Cities will need to develop standards for the property homeowner to provide tiny home connections to municipal services
  • Cities will need to inspect the site to ensure the connections and site continue to meet their standards
  • Cities will need to have a system to manage possible comments from neighbours to tiny home inFILL housing sites
  • The property owner will need to invest in the cost of developing and maintaining the inFILL tiny home site to meet the city standards

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TTA Commentary

We would recommend that cities permit the tiny home inFILL program on properties that meet their site criteria, where the property owner wants to develop a site. Once the site meets their standards, an annual permit would be issued without any consultation with neighbouring property owners. This eliminates neighbours from automatically dismissing tiny home inFILL housing simply because it is something different. This puts the onus of fitting into the neighbourhood on the tiny homeowner, with the annual permit renewal contingent on not having legitimate, negative feedback by neighbours. Where the site booking is managed through the Association, a tiny homeowner rating can help identify ideal renters over time.

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