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Old 01-25-2016, 12:12 AM   #1
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Tiny house village for homeless solution

Seattle tiny house village could be copied by Victoria
Cascadia neighbour opens 14 tiny homes on church property to house some living in camps

CBC News Posted: Jan 24, 2016 7:26 PM PT Last Updated: Jan 24, 2016 7:32 PM PT
Seattle tiny house village could be copied by Victoria - British Columbia - CBC News

Seattle's first tiny house village opens soon to help the homeless, with electricity and plumbing. Story at 5:45.

City councillors in Victoria say tiny, modular homes are being considered as a mid-term solution to help move people out of a homeless camp and under a real roof, albeit a small one.

The growing interest comes as Seattle built 14 of the homes — each 96 square feet and complete with insulation and heat — and opened them to residents living in homelessness camps there this past week.

The tiny structures cost $2,200 US to build and residents pay $90 US a month for utilities. Most of the funding for the Seattle project was covered by donations.

Councillors in Victoria are looking for donations as well, but say they will also need the help of the provincial and federal governments.

"It's a much cheaper way to look at it than looking at permanent housing, but there's still a cost." said city councillor Marianne Alto. "Having said that permanent housing is the answer, but permanent housing takes time, and so micro-houses can really fill in that gap."

More than 50 people are now camping on the lawn of the courthouse in Victoria. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

In May of 2015, fellow councillor Ben Isitt pitched the idea to council, suggesting that $200,000 be spent on a tiny house pilot project. At the time he said Victoria was spending $600,000 a year dealing with campers.

A few months later, in early November of 2015, tents started appearing — and staying — on a patch of lawn at Victoria's courthouse. The land belongs to the province and is not subject to a 2009 court ruling that allows campers to sleep in Victoria's parks as long as they pack up their tents each day.

Now though, the site has grown considerably and has drawn the ire of neighbours and raised safety concerns.

The City of Victoria has already given $25,000 to help Microhousing Victoria, a society set up to figure out how tiny houses could work in the city.

6-bedroom modular homes

"A lot of people can go into transitional or social housing, but there's not a place to move on to, basically because there is no affordable place to rent," said Susan Abells, who works with the steering committee for micro-housing in Victoria.

Abells says the lead Washington State is taking on tiny homes is being watched, but she says Victoria might consider slightly larger options.

"The model that we're currently looking is like a six bedroom home," she said. "Those six bedrooms are in fact private micro-homes for people, but they're all bed-sitting rooms that are connected into a home with a common area."

"They can be built quickly, they can be built off-site, they can be moved onto site once the site is prepared with basic city services ... they can also be moved off."

Abells says the units can be built in six to eight weeks, but the problem now is finding the funding to pay for them, and more importantly the land on which to place them.

"It's a solution, it's not the total solution, but another piece of the puzzle," she said, describing the modular homes as, "a private home space that is dignified."

The goal is to find five sites and put up ten houses by the summer, but Abells says the housing will only be successful if support services are also in place to help vulnerable people who move into the units stay in them.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:39 AM   #2
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All the housing in world is not going to help someone who has substance abuse issues or mental issues. I have/had a tenant on welfare who just move in last month. 2 weeks ago he claimed his sister in Ontario was sick and would like to have his security deposit and next months rent back when the check came in so he could move to Ontario.

Some shady landlords will pretend to rent out a unit to a person on welfare, give the person a cut of the rent cheque every month and then rent the same unit to someone else.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:30 AM   #3
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BC Housing is spending millions upon millions renoing SRO's and new construction that at $2,220 USD/unit seems so cheap. The only downside to this is finding the real estate unless you build in the boons or somehow stack them like this

it's nice to see people thinking outside the box (no pun intended) on cost effective housing.

yes the gov't not addressing mental health and substance abuse issues is not really going to fix the problem, i'm just commenting on the housing portion.

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Old 01-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #4
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In b4 social societies claiming this isn't a "good enough" solution for people to live in
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