More than trendy: Tiny house built as possible solution to homelessness
Published Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:05PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 23, 2019 6:13PM EDT
A Guelph city councillor is employing a small measure that could have a big impact on homelessness in his ward.
Bob Bell opened the tiny doors on a tiny house to the public today, hosting an open house for a project he says is an innovative solution.
He says it took about three weeks to assemble the house and, while it’s compact at just 155 square feet, it cost about $25,000 to build.
“There’s a kitchen, so kitchen sink, counter, cabinets, fridge, microwave, hot plate, and in the bathroom there’s a shower, sink and toilet,” explains Bell. “Then there’s a little dinette and a bed and room for a dresser and shelves.”
The land is rests on also costs $25,000, for a grand total of about $50,000.
That's compared to the average affordable housing unit, which a spokesperson with Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy says is about $300,000. Those units also incur higher repair costs, like fixing drywall and repainting, that the tiny homes don't need.
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie says this is a solution the city needs.
"It really is one of the solutions that should be embraced, it helps with giving people dignity, giving them safety, giving them wraparound social services," he says.
Bell says it doesn’t tie into the current minimalism trend of tiny homes but serves as a means of affordable housing and shelter.
The councillor says he was getting calls from people who weren’t able to afford housing, so he partnered with Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy to develop the home.
He plans to bring it to city council and says it could be built within hours on a production line.
The goal is to have the homes approved by council quickly so they can be built and move-in ready in time for the fall.