The city is pushing ahead with a plan to build tiny houses for the homeless or nearly so, and to put those houses down some of its lower city laneways.
Hamilton city council's planning committee voted Tuesday to investigate building homes no larger than 425 square feet — about the size of three parking spaces — to ease the city's affordable housing crisis.
Such programs have worked in other cities, said Matthew Green, councillor for Ward 3 in the lower city. In Detroit and upstate New York, for example, tiny houses have proven a cost-effective way to house people.
They won't solve the problem, Green said. But this will "allow us to explore them as part of the housing mix" at a time when tiny houses and downsizing are growing trends.
Friday’s shout-out goes to Maria Guerrero who recently joined our Advisory Board. As an Architect, her dream is to help the world reach true freedom, peace, and happiness by designing beautiful, magical sacred spaces where people can enjoy the journey of reaching their highest self through a creative lifestyle. I feel that Maria will make a strong addition to the Board as she has works to design our Tiny Town community spaces. Welcome, Maria! You can read more about Maria here: https://tinytownassociation.com/advisory-board.html
A shout-out today to Sheena Jardine-Olade who recently joined our Advisory Board. With a background in urban planning, arts, and culture, environmental management, stakeholder engagement and research, Sheena channels her experience and out-of-the-box thinking into innovative solutions and strategies that generate unique solutions.
I feel that Sheena will make a strong addition to the Board as she has already been actively helping with edits to the website content and grant applications. Her blog, the Tiny Home News will bring tiny home/community-related articles to the Association website. Welcome, Sheena!
A southern Alberta town is looking to become a provincial leader in affordable housing, community-building and eco-friendly living with an ambitious new development in the middle of Okotoks.
Today's Shout-Out goes to Allegion for providing handle sets and locks for our model tiny home. One of the products they carry is the Schlage line, and they have sponsored a complete set of handles and locks for our home, including a Smart lock for the front door. No more keys!
Check out their info here: Allegion
We have been working on updating the Association website with more information on the different ways that we want to enable tiny home living. Working with various cities, we have identified the 4 key areas we see tiny homes fitting in and identified some information on how we see these options working. We have gained some insights from this endeavor, and the Association has become more committed to enabling all types of tiny home living, not just Tiny Towns. You can read about the 4 areas, right from the homepage and the main menu item topic Living.
We are working more closely with a growing number of cities from our original tour destinations. We are building a resource that will provide you with the relevant information on where you can legally live tiny today, as well as tracking and keeping you informed of where and how you can live tiny into the future. We will be launching our city sites in the near future, which we plan to expand to cover every city, town, and municipality across Canada identifying what tiny home living options are available to you.
We have instituted a new General Member fee to join the Association of $25/year. This will help us continue to provide the information we do, as well as continuing to advocate for tiny home living. The annual membership fee will allow members to attend some Tiny Living Festivals at no cost. We are planning 40 Festivals across Ontario in 2019, and the advance tickets cost is $10 General and $20 VIP admission ($15 & $30 at the gate). Members will be able to claim $40/year in any combination of tickets as part of their membership. Each city Festival will be open to the public Wed-Sun. A master schedule will be posted on the Association website, a Facebook event will be created for each Festival and details will be provided on each city website. As a Legacy Member, your membership continues to be Free however, you will not qualify for the Festival tickets bonus. You will need to upgrade to the new General Member plan to take advantage of this bonus.
There are a lot more exciting things in the works, namely information on where you can legally live tiny, city by city coming soon! Watch your email for more updates.
This is why I am so passionate about tiny homes as an affordable housing option and as a means of providing Housing First to the homeless.
Doug at Timbercraft has agreed to allow us to give away the plans for our Logan32 tiny home that they provided. They created the plans based on our home concept and you can view and download them for free!
If you have ever wondered what would be required to frame and build a tiny home, the Logan32 plans include these details. You will still need to talk to an electrician, plumber and gas fitter about running your services in the home, but this can give you an idea of the structure and materials. We have designed the home to group the services together to minimize costs. This house is designed for year-round living and includes a full set of appliances. It is also seniors friendly as the loft is simply for storage, and the bedroom is on the main floor.
The house is 32' long (plus 4' tongue with utility room) x 8.5' wide so it can be pulled on the road without a special permit.
You have to be a member of the Association to download the plans (Association membership is Free) View/download the plans here...
Today's Shout-Out goes to Goodfellow Inc. for wood products.
We needed some quality wood products for the tiny home build and reached out to Goodfellow as we knew they carried the products we needed. Rene passed along our request to the owners and they wanted to contribute to the home build, as well as supporting the donation of the house to charity after the tour. While we had some challenges on our end trying to coordinate picking up the product from their Ottawa location, Rene and Patrick were able to accommodate us and deliver the product to Kingston. Thanks, guys!
Well as things are getting back to normal, we have begun adding the product sponsors to the website once again. We have had a lot of positive support pouring in over the last while, which has renewed our enthusiasm for the Tiny Town Association project.
One of the first companies to become a corporate partner on the Association website was InfraredHeat.ca and we are pleased to be able to thank them for sponsoring an infrared heating panel. This is one of the most environmentally friendly sources of heating available, not to mention attractive.
I am encouraged by the support coming in for the Tiny Town Association and our advocacy tour. People and companies are letting us know they want us to continue our work to address affordable housing and homelessness in Canada with tiny homes. The appreciation for our initiative to promote the tiny home auction for Habitat for Humanity during the tour, and the exposure that it will generate as a fundraiser for them, is fueling our social desire.
I was really touched by the number of PMs from people wishing they could fund the completion of the tiny home themselves, but I wasn’t looking for one person. This is a project that affects us all, so I’m looking for people to come together and support it collectively. If everyone will put $20 towards the tour, together we can make it happen. That is the miracle of crowdfunding. When you give a bit because you believe in a cause and get your friends to do the same, you decide which social initiatives happen with just $20! Even if you don’t have the social influence to get friends to contribute, you are still part of my social network, so please help.
We have never given up on our belief in what we are doing. It has not ended, it is just changing. We have a plan, but it is fluid, not concrete. When something leaves the plan, it creates a hole and often what fills the hole makes the plan stronger. We expect to have some exciting news about the tour next week.
Together we can make tiny homes a legal housing option in Canada. Give a little to our GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/tiny-home-tour-2019
So today I am facing the potential end of the tiny home tour and the Tiny Town Association. The company I have been working with to build the model tiny home has told me they need me to pay for the work they have done beyond what they are able to sponsor for the model home. They have offered to buy me out for the cash I have put in, then finish the home at their cost, and lease it back to me when I am ready to go on the tour. They gave me until 1pm today to decide. The trailer manufacturer (whom didn’t sponsor the trailer) has told me I need to pay the balance of the cost of the trailer as well. I feel no ill-will to either company, as I understand they have bills they need to pay too.
However, I feel that although they say they will lease the house to me for the tour, because they have repeatedly expressed doubt in my ability to make the tour happen, they will complete the house and sell it, offering to build another when I am “ready” to make the tour. The fact that it would then be their house, they can then control if and when that would happen, based on their opinion of my readiness to take their house on tour.
My bills with the builder and the trailer manufacturer are $24,000. If you can support my effort to raise the funds to take over the completion of the tiny home and begin the tour with a GoFundMe pledge, I will see if there is enough support overall to proceed, if not I will fold the GoFundMe campaign returning your donation.
I have only until 1pm to see if there is support for our tiny home initiatives from people willing to put their money in to help.
On my LinkedIn feed I came across a post by THAC about rental issues, so I checked out the article relating to issues in Albert. I followed the data to the source and found some distressing statistics. Rental is a growing issue across Canada.
Here’s the details: http://www.rentalhousingindex.ca/en/#comp_prov
Our ARTO Program is a way of addressing some of issues right now that will improve with time.
I attempted to capture some of my thoughts in starting the Association as well as plans the Association is developing to enable tiny homes to be accepted as legal housing in Canada. This is unscripted and has a lot of "human" moments in it. I rambled on for about an hour, so to make it easier to listen to, I have broken it down into smaller bite-sized pieces. I'll post them over the next few days on our YouTube channel and link them to the Blog.
A shout-out to End of the Roll. They arranged sponsorship of the flooring for the Logan32. A laminate click vinyl flooring that is waterproof! We've chosen to use this flooring throughout the home because it is a smaller space, the continuity should add to the open feel of the home. Can't wait to see it installed!
We launched our GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for our Tiny Home Tour 2018. Help us get the Logan32 on the road this year to visit 49-cities across Ontario. This will be a major event to bring tiny homes into the spotlight and present a zoning bylaw framework that cities and municipalities can build on to enable tiny homes. We have some special Rewards that you can claim by joining the Association (free) and by donating to the campaign:
Today's shout-out goes to Kingston Lighting for getting Feiss, Kuzco, and Satco together to provide stylish lighting for the Logan32. Lisa worked some magic and got these three manufacturers to provide track lighting, under and over cabinet lighting, ceiling fan lighting, vanity lighting and outside lighting. I can't wait to see it all come together!
Today's shout-out goes to Dalmen Windows & Doors in Ottawa. Not only did the whole team work together to meet our crazy deadline, but they provided us with some beautiful windows and doors for the Logan32. I was checking out their website, and I am impressed with the technologies they are using in their products. Thanks, Dominic for making this happen. I am really glad I found Dalmen, and they are going to be the first choice for a number of projects.
Today's shout-out goes to the Home Depot. In every renovation or DIY project I have done for myself or others, there are always a host of items that don't make the original parts list, yet are crucial to completing the job. The Home Depot was good enough to provide a Gift Card so that we are able to get anything we need in the store. Thanks for providing exactly what we need.
Today's shout-out goes to 3M. Often the visible design items tend to take center stage because they are the most visible, but what goes into the home build is often more important. The construction materials and products are going to be protecting the home and those living in it far longer than the design elements. With that being said, we are very happy that 3M provided some of their construction products to protect the Loagn32 and its future occupants.
Today’s shout-out goes to Ikea for sponsoring a NORDEN Gateleg table and the new DELAKTIG loveseat, with options! These two main furniture pieces are a welcome addition to the Logan32. The loveseat sofa includes the optional side table and rear mounted LED lamp to create the perfect space to read a book, watch TV or work on a laptop. It can be configured in several different ways to suit the ultimate Logan32 owner. Functional as well as beautifully designed, they will become the central point in the home, as these two areas of the home will be used the most, on a day to day basis.
Today’s product sponsor shout-out goes to Fabritec with their EUROSTYLE line of kitchen cabinets. They were super accommodating and worked together with the local Home Depot kitchen design staff to get us the product we needed to install a complete Oxford kitchen in the Logan32. I will post a walking tour video after the Logan32 is complete to showcase each sponsors’ products. You will also be able to walk through the Logan32 in any of the cities I visit while on tour, beginning in May (dates to come). This is going to be one nice home that will be donated to Habitat for Humanity and one exciting tour of Ontario.
Today's sponsor shout-out goes to Whirlpool. Whirlpool has sponsored a complete set of appliances for the Logan32, in a smaller format. They also provided a natural gas range and dryer, which is helping us keep the power requirements low. Our Tiny Town design plans to use solar for electricity and waste conversion to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). Thes gas appliances will help lighten the solar load.
Regrettably, due to a supply-chain issue, our build is running behind. Progress is being made and you can see the underlying construction methods of the KTect SBS SIPs. It's really incredible to think that this tiny house is being designed to withstand Hurricane 4 gusts. In addition, the innovative insulation system should make it meet code in any part of Canada! This will be a house without bounds.
I don't always post news about the latest sponsor as soon as they agree to help, but I'm working to keep up with all the support. The build is picking up the pace as our first event is quickly approaching. We're heading for Perth on April 21st, this Saturday. I'll post new photos of the build tomorrow. Today’s shout-out goes to Plumbing Plus and Riobel who are sponsoring all the faucets for the Logan32 including the kitchen sink faucet, the bathroom vanity faucet, and the shower system. I am really grateful that Riobel provided them and Plumbing Plus asked for us.
Read about Riobel's products here...
Every day we have new sponsors join the Logan32 build. The build continues as the 2018 tour launch rapidly approaches. Check out the latest build photos. Today’s shout-out goes to Longevity Acrylics who is sponsoring the complete shower unit, with built-in seating, grab bars, shelves, doors, and more. This is a great addition to our model tiny home as it is easy to clean, looks great and includes the features that make showering easy for everyone.
Read about their products here...
It is really great to have more sponsors join the Logan32 build. As we are approaching the beginning of the tour for 2018 and the Logan32 build is underway, I will be posting more information on the companies and products going into the build. Today’s shout-out goes to Kingston Windows & Doors who reached out to suppliers and Hometech Window Corporation replied that they would sponsor our windows. This is great because their Energy Star, CSA certified windows will make a great addition to this tiny home. Not only will they help the Logan32 look great on the tour but Habitat for Humanity, who we are donating the home to after the tour, will be the ultimate beneficiary.
Read about their products here...
After Tiffany Pratt joined the project to build the Logan32, she started reaching out to her partners and one of the first companies to respond was Farrow & Ball to provide paint and wallpaper. They are a great company to work with and have a distinctive palette of 132 timeless colours which are renowned for their depth and complexity.
Wallpapers are usually made with ink, but not theirs. They use their own richly pigmented paint and traditional block and trough printing methods to give a uniquely tactile finish, creating a seamless connection between paint and paper.
This is going to be one beautiful tiny home for someone in need through Habitat for Humanity, after the tour. You’ve got to see the paint and paper choices Tiffany has made: Tiffany's Paint & Paper choices!
Back in February, I began looking for a designer that I could interest in working with me to create a unique "tiny show-home", the Logan32. I planned to take it across Ontario to promote tiny home living as an affordable solution in today's economy. I reached out to Tiffany Pratt, as I had seen her on HGTV's Home to Win for 2 seasons and was drawn to her personality and design style. Tiffany responded and after we chatted on the phone, we found we had more in common with the interest in affordable housing than I knew.
Tiffany was enthusiastic about the project from the start and agreed to work with me to help make Logan32 a reality. She has brought some of her corporate sponsors to support the build, and I am really excited that we are going to have a great looking model home for the tour and then to donate to Habitat for Humanity. With a 49-city tour of Ontario planned to begin this spring, the Logan32 will be the first tiny home to be seen everywhere.
Coming from a for-profit business background, into starting a not-for-profit association, I have come to realize how special the relationships you develop through the things you do are. Not just for the success of the project, but for the genuine interest that people take, and the effort they put into it. Thanks, Tiffany this would not be happening without you. I can't wait to see what you create!
The Logan32 build is underway! While we have secured some sponsors for our upcoming 49-city tour across Ontario, we are still looking for more. We wanted to explain to businesses the opportunities that exist by sponsoring the tour:
The following additional benefits will be enjoyed by sponsors of specific items/services:
In preparation for our upcoming Tiny Tour 2018 and our initiative to inform the public, media and municipal governments of our Tiny Town project, we have updated the website to focus our content. We would appreciate your suggestions and ideas to help us prepare for this undertaking. This is a big project as we plan to visit 49 cities to find the one that will become our First Tiny Town.
We have begun securing sponsorship for the tour, so I'll post notices about our sponsors here. Be sure to read about what they are doing to support the tour, the tiny home we're building and donating to Habitat for Humanity.
It's great to see Tiny Homes on the cover of the March/April issue of The Costco Connection. This reinforces the belief that tiny homes are not just a fad, but a unique, new form of housing. The article focuses on Costco Members and Their Unique Dwellings, but tiny homes are the only ones that can easily be replicated by others.
Affordability is a key feature of tiny homes and this is one of the main reasons that the Tiny Town Association decided to focus on creating places for tiny homeowners to park. They are affordable and they can fit the lifestyle (and budget) of singles, couples, and retirees while maintaining one's independence.
Looking to meet and share your interest in tiny homes with others? Good news! You now can meet and network with the growing community easily thanks to our partnership with networking app Shapr !
How to start in 3 steps:
Shapr’s smart algorithm will do the rest! Each day, Shapr will suggest relevant nearby profiles who share your professional and personal interests. Your batch will include 15-20 suggestions a day, with around 3 prioritized suggestions from TinyTownAssociation. Just swipe right on the profiles of those you hope to meet. When you match, message your new connection and arrange a time to say hello over the phone or a cup of coffee! Discover each other, and create new links! ☕ There were six million matches in 2017 that lead to fantastic projects, new companies, investments and more. Who will you meet?
A network of Tiny Towns located within commuting distance of every major city in Canada means you can move within the network and live by the city of your choice. Our network will make tiny homes a real housing option, just like apartments, condos, semi and detached housing.
Today, if you rent an apartment or own a home, you can easily move from city to city to meet your needs. Once the Tiny Town network is established, you will have the same freedom to relocate, but the process will be easier because you won’t need to deal with leaving your current home.
Using the online booking portal, you simply locate a new site in the town nearest the host city you want to relocate to, book your spot for when you want to arrive and not renew the site that you are leaving. Then it’s just a matter of packing the things in your tiny home that could get damaged when you move, disconnect your home on moving day and then drive it to the site in your new town. Connect and you're done.
We are working to set up a national tiny house moving service as well, so if you don’t feel comfortable moving your own house, or you don’t want to keep a pickup truck, just for the occasional move, you can book the service online. They’ll arrive on the appointed day, hookup your tiny home, move to your new Tiny Town and park you in your site. Just connect and you’re home! Best of all you will know the cost of your move, once you've selected your next Tiny Town before you book it!
Our network is the key to making tiny homes a viable housing option by providing legal places to live and facilitating the ability to move from city to city, just as you can in traditional housing.
A tiny home is the least expensive home you can own. When you look at every other type of housing and consider what you need to live, nothing can compare to a tiny home. While you can look at everything you don’t have in a tiny home (more air and more storage space) and feel that things are missing, you can also look at everything you do have.
You have a place to sleep, storage, a kitchen, washroom facilities, laundry facilities, office/living room. Your monthly expenses are low, your maintenance is low, the time it takes to clean your entire home is small. Your enjoyment level can be a lot higher because: you don’t need to work as long or hard to cover your living expenses, you can relocate easily to a new city/town, you can have more leisure/sports/me-time because of all the above.
Why own the land you park your tiny home on?
It’s an asset that ties you down, limits when and where you can go, plus it’s a huge expense. In addition to purchasing the land, you will also need electricity, water, sewer, internet, and gas. These utilities require a further investment, they will need to be maintained and they add to the things that tie you to your land. At some time in the future, you may want to move. What then? Do you sell your tiny home with the land the way traditional homes are sold or do you try and sell the land alone? Either way, moving has now become a chore.
Tiny Towns will be owned by the not-for-profit Association so that revenues can be re-invested in the development and maintenance of the towns. Rents are planned to be kept low by using renewable resources to provide the utilities for its citizens. Citizens are free to move within the town and between towns by simply booking their new location online. All sites will provide complete hookups (included in the monthly rent) so it’s just plug-n-go to connect to your site. Services provided will include water, sewer, electricity, gas, TV, internet (fiber optic connection to each tiny home). We have designed our towns with 12 tiny homes to the acre, which we call a Pod (like a mini-neighborhood). Each site has a concrete pad with tie-downs to park on, lots of green space, a central common area and gardens for the residents of each Pod. Common areas are community maintained and socializing will be available for those that want to participate.
Tiny Towns complete the concept of tiny homes as an affordable housing option by removing the biggest upfront costs, the land purchase and utility installation. Looking forward, they will enable a tiny home’s mobility through plug-n-go and provide a network with access to all major cities. We believe that while tiny homes will expand our housing options, they also have the potential to expand other areas of our lives.
We’re building the Logan32, a tiny home designed for Tiny Town living and taking it on a 49-city tour across Ontario this year to give people a sense of the tiny lifestyle. We’re starting the tour at Perth’s Tiny House & Green Home Festival on April 21st.
We are also presenting a talk at the show about Tiny Towns, so if you are in the area, drop by the festival, walk through the Logan32 and other tiny homes, and ask questions about Tiny Towns in person:
We are thrilled that Timbercraft Tiny Homes is creating custom plans for our Logan32 tiny home which will be touring 49-cities across Ontario this year before being donated to Habitat for Humanity, Canada. They are donating the plans to us, so if you are looking for a company to build you a tiny home, check out their website. Great people building amazing tiny homes http://timbercrafttinyhomes.com
There are 133 cities where we would like to build Tiny Towns so thatowners can legally live close to their chosen host city. Our long-term plan is to build all 133 Tiny Towns across the nation, and as people are able to visit an operational town, we expect we will be able to get approvals and build faster. How do we decide the order that we build? There are 2 key factors that determine where we invest our resources first:
So how can you help? You can become an Ambassador for a Tiny Town in your city. It doesn't cost anything, there's no schooling or courses, and you can help out a little here and there when time permits.
This is a question I am getting asked more and more often from people across Canada: "I want to move into a Tiny Town in my city, when can I?" I would love to be able to say we're coming your way this year, but realistically, that's not likely.
For us to build a Tiny Town in a new city, a number of things need to happen. First, we need support and interest from a number of people that want to own a tiny home and park it in a Tiny Town. It's a large expense to build a Tiny Town and we need people that will move into it to support it, once it's built. More importantly, we need each city that hosts a Tiny Town to want to work with us, along with the municipality where the Tiny Town will be. They are the ones that ultimately determine if we get the zoning and building permissions to construct and operate the Tiny Town.
You can speed up the process and get us there faster! You can become a Tiny Town Ambassador. An Ambassador is a local champion for getting a Tiny Town to their city and they are willing to invest some time and effort to make it happen. To begin, join the Association (it doesn't cost anything). When you register, indicate that you want to be an Ambassador. After you register, log into your account and complete your profile, most importantly indicate the city you want to be the Ambassador of.
Next start to work on getting support. This is your biggest job as an Ambassador, to build up interest and support for getting a Tiny Town to your city. Start talking about Tiny Towns with your friends and social contacts. Get them to join the Association and get them to get their friends to join the Association too. It doesn't take long through friends, of friends, of friends, to build enough support that we can bring our proposal to the city council and the municipality. If we present our proposal to the city/municipality and say we have someone that wants a Tiny Town to be built here, no one takes us seriously. But if we say we have thousands of local supporters, real people that want a Tiny Town built in their city, the council can see that that there is a good reason to move forward, allowing us to built.
We are working to build support for Tiny Towns in various cities and as an Ambassador, you can speed the process of getting us to your city, simply by building support. We'll set up a new area of the website that will talk more about being a Tiny Town Ambassador and ways that you can help the movement become a reality all of the 120 cities across Canada where we want to build a Tiny Town. (While our plan is to build 133 cities in Canada, we are targeting just 120 cities to start.)
We believe that mobility is a key feature of a tiny home. The fact that you pack-up and move your entire house, rather than the contents of your home makes so much sense to us (we all dislike the moving experience).
Many second-hand tiny homes on the market today, are located on a piece of property. A lot of effort goes into finding a property and setting up the services for a tiny home. Unless the property is sold to another tiny homeowner, this is a significant expense that would not be recovered. The easiest way to recover the expense is to sell the tiny home with the lot. Sort of like you would do with a traditional home.
Buyer beware! Often the tiny home is legally parked on a lot because the homeowner has applied for a building permit for a traditional home. This allows them to reside in the tiny home for 2 +/- years while they are “building” their traditional home. This is a somewhat short-sighted approach as, during the permit period, the municipality that issued the permit expects that a conforming home will be built. They may extend the building timeframe for an additional year, but in most cases that is all.
Our Tiny Town plan is to locate our towns within commuting distance (15 minutes) of large cities. We refer to them as “Host” cities. These cities can provide jobs, markets for products and services, shopping and entertainment. Our Tiny Town will have services to each tiny home lot and plenty of common area around them. Tiny homeowners will be able to pull in, connect to the services and be set up in the new town in little time. Because they do not own the site, they are free to move to another site or town whenever they want. Moving is as simple as booking the new site online, then moving on the schedule they select. Rents (including all utilities) are planned to be modest, as we are designing the town services using renewable resources.