Well, it’s been one hell of a summer! Since my last update, I’ve (co)facilitated three meetings with community and municipal stakeholders, met many amazing and dedicated partners including a developer with land for a pilot project, conducted a couple of TV and radio interviews (keep your ears open for a CBC series in September), found myself an incredible co-organizer from Think Big Live Little in Vancouver as well as a core group of individuals who formally launched the “BC Tiny House Collective”, and am continuing to mobilize a diverse group of stakeholders and citizens who want to see tiny houses legitimized in Greater Vancouver. IT’S HAPPENING!
I’ll spare you the details, but here’s where things are at:
- At the end of July, a small group of engaged community members got together and created a vision, mission, and objective for our collective body. And thus the BC Tiny House Collective was birthed — check out that pro website (thanks Elaine and friends for putting it together so quickly)! Our next step as a Collective is to either partner with a registered non-profit such as Small Housing BC, or to register ourselves as a non-profit, in order to apply for funding for research and report writing. Which brings me to…
- The goal of the BC Tiny House Collective: to encourage and support municipalities to move tiny living forward. The City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and City of West Vancouver (as well as City of Abbotsford, thanks to Igancio for taking that on), have all expressed interest in exploring tiny houses as a viable housing stock. From our last stakeholder engagement meeting, where we had city staff/Councillors and representatives of housing and sustainability-related organizations at the table, we learned that municipal policy makers and community partners want information (in the form of one or more reports) to help guide their choices as they navigate the housing policies. At this meeting, participants pinpointed a few key barriers to making the tiny house a reality in Greater Vancouver: 1) Political (Building codes & Zoning Bylaws); 2) Cultural (Public Priorities and the “Why Tiny” Question); and 3) Economic (Financing & Land Costs). Our goal as a Collective is to address these barriers and provide answers to some pressing questions.
- We’ve got another meeting coming up August 25 — So, if you’re interested in more information, would like to see meeting minutes, or are interested in joining the task force and contributing to the development of this project, send me a message at email@example.com
By the way, I realize BC-THC is perhaps a poor choice of acronyms, but it all happened so quickly…
As for my own house, it’s moving slowly and steadily towards completion!
All the siding is up, which is amazing. And 3/4 exterior walls are with my own reclaimed cedar siding from North Van! Anyways, it’s still unknown as to where I’m going to put it when it’s done… but if things magically flow in the right direction, there’s potential that we could incorporate it into the BCTHC report. Eg. I could park my house in a publicly accessible area (I already have a spot in mind thanks to a supportive and creative developer), collect community feedback on the house, and use the data to explore and address some of the “cultural barrier” questions that arose during the last meeting — How might a community react to having a tiny house as a neighbour? What are the primary concerns? What are ways to mitigate these concerns??
So many questions! Luckily, we are not reinventing the wheel. Check out this video of a town in Quebec that is legalizing tiny houses. Speaking of Quebec, it’s about time I get off this computer and go enjoy the sights and sounds of Montreal!! Vacation time, finally 🙂