Yes, my house is still being built! Slow and steady, as they say. I’ve been accumulating bits and pieces off Craigslist and beyond — sinks and vanities, a bathroom door, a water heater, and so on. The plumbing is about to go in, and the drywall is about to go up! I’ve been sanding recycled cedar fence boards to use as trim and for the interior wall, and it looks goooood. Thanks Shannon and Tristan all of the dusty help.
I’ve also been doing some more media stuff! Keep your eye out for the release of Charles Wilkinson’s new film in the near future, “Vancouver: No Fixed Address“. His documentaries are incredible, I’m really excited and honoured to be a part of this one.
Also: Advocacy work is really moving along. I’ve been in conversation with city staff, politicians, academics, businesses and community organizations around Metro Vancouver and formed a number of key partnerships. I’ve presented at the Community Housing Action Committee (CHAC), the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), and to a Masters in Engineering Research Methodology course at UBC. I’ve partnered with a large handful of students at UBC and VCC who are going to be taking on some research (the tables have turned…finally reaping the benefits of free student labour), as well as housing and planning experts, sustainable building organizations, innovation hubs, and an awesome developer who has offered me a temporary spot for my tiny (cross your fingers the city says yes). I’m also in the early stages of applying for grants to do research, education, training, and launch a minimum of 5 tiny house pilots around the Vancouver Area. Oh and did I mention, we’ve got a sweet website up and running? (Thank you, Sarah and Elaine). We’re currently recruiting volunteers for lots of admin, research, and campaign work. Let me know if you’re interested 🙂
Also (I probably shouldn’t be jumping the gun here, but I’m pretty excited about it), there’s the potential to look into Community Land Trusts as a model for tiny house pocket villages. According to Wikipedia, “The community land trust (CLT) is a neutral and sustainable model of affordable housing and community development…that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community.” Similar to a conservation land trust, a community land trust mandates that housing within the land trust must remain affordable as long as it exists. In other words, individuals with tiny houses would lease or rent a “parking pad” or plot of land within a land trust for a predetermined amount of time, at below-market value. This means partnering with a municipality to lease the land and a non-profit organization to operate the pocket village…big asks, but I’m working on it.
Here’s an example of a Community Land Trust at work:
Lastly: for those of you who just so badly wish you’d have donated to my Generosity fundraiser back in June, good news! It’s still up! I’ll be keeping it going till the build is complete. So please pitch in a few dollars if you want to support the build of my home and help me continue this massive undertaking, and/or share with your networks to spread the word! Thank you!!
Cheers friends, thanks for all the love and support over the past year.