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Guelph city councillor responds to criticism over tiny home rental

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When Guelph city councillor Rodrigo Goller listed the tiny home in his backyard for rent, the reaction was swift.

At 520 square feet, the two-bedroom home is listed for $2,500 per month, utilities included – a price more than one Facebook commenter called “shameful.”

But as Goller explained, the property isn’t exactly a get-rich-quick scheme.

“We are actually not getting any cash flow into our household for 18 to 20 years,” Goller said. “We will be contributing from our house to pay for the mortgage and the line of credit fees for this place.”

Goller said his family decided to have the home built two years ago.

“We didn’t really use all of it [the backyard], so we thought, ‘could we share it?’ Maybe with some students or with some working professionals,” he said.

He said they initially planned to rent it at a lower cost, but after construction went over budget, $2,500 is near the bottom of when they can afford.

Pictures of the interior of the home as seen in the rental listing. (Kijiji)

The rental listing received plenty of attention online, both good and bad.

“There was some negative feedback on social media that was surprising, but understandable,” he said.

While many think the price is sky-high, some of those in the Guelph real estate business say the cost is reasonable.

“It’s a two-bed, two-bathroom unit,” said Guelph realtor Megan Webb. “I think $2,500 is right bang on with the average for a two-bedroom in Guelph, especially for a new unit like that.”

The tiny home has two bedrooms. (Kijiji)

Webb, who works for Planet Realty, said based on what she’s seen and the amenities provided, $2,500 per month is not absurd.

“I can understand the shock and the issue with affordability, but people are paying those prices and we are seeing that,” she said.

While many are critical of Goller for not offering the property at a more affordable rate, he said his family simple can’t afford to, and it’s up to government – including the one he is part of – to do more.

“We really need more social housing in Guelph and that is something I want to see done as a city councillor. We need to more dollars towards social housing in Guelph,” he said.

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