Hamilton moves ahead with plan to offer tiny homes for the homeless

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The city is investigating the feasibility of putting tiny homes down laneways

The city is pushing ahead with a plan to build tiny houses for the homeless or nearly so, and to put those houses down some of its lower city laneways.

Hamilton city council’s planning committee voted Tuesday to investigate building homes no larger than 425 square feet — about the size of three parking spaces — to ease the city’s affordable housing crisis.

Such programs have worked in other cities, said Matthew Green, councillor for Ward 3 in the lower city. In Detroit and upstate New York, for example, tiny houses have proven a cost effective way to house people.

They won’t solve the problem, Green said. But this will “allow us to explore them as part of the housing mix” at a time when tiny houses and downsizing are growing trends.

And in a city where people are sleeping in tents in old industrial areas, he said, the situation calls for it.

“I’ve seen folks living in refugee camps,” he said. “We have, a kilometre from this building, people living in situations that are as dire.”

The tiny house concept isn’t a new one in Hamilton. Two local organizations — Good Shepherd and the Social Planning and Research Council (SPRC) — are working on an as-yet-unnamed project to build duplexes of tiny units for women in danger of homelessness. At their smallest, the units will be a little over 400 square feet.

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Article and image source: CBC Hamilton

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