The province suggests tiny homes could help the housing crisis


Published December 2, 2019 at 10:48 pm


The provincial government is encouraging those looking to purchase a home to consider a tiny home.

The housing market in the GTA is booming, but the attractiveness of the region is offset by the persistent lack of housing inventory and the continued supply and demand imbalance that’s driving up competition (and prices).

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently announced that GTA realtors reported 8,491 residential sales through TREB’s MLS system in October 2019—a 14 per cent increase compared to the 7,448 sales reported in October 2018.
According to TREB, sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types.

Therefore, as demand increases, so do prices.

As a result, the government has released the Build or buy a tiny home guide, which provides practical advice for those who prioritize affordability over spaciousness.

“We know that the demand for alternative, innovative and more affordable types of housing is growing,” Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said in a news release.

“Our innovation housing guides provide important information about different types of housing, so that people can make well-informed decisions about the type of home that best meets their needs and budget,” he continued.

According to the guide, a tiny home is a “small, private and self-contained dwelling unit,” that contains a living and dining area, a kitchen and bathroom with functional plumbing, a sleeping area, and is intended to be used year-round (so cottages and structures used on a seasonal basis would not be considered tiny homes).

Additionally, those who might be considering a tiny home should first check with the by-laws of the municipality they would like to live in, as some have minimum size requirements (for example, some municipalities require all homes to be at least 400 square feet).

No matter the municipality, according to Ontario’s Building Code, a tiny home cannot be smaller than 188 square feet.

Those who wish to build their own tiny home are strongly encouraged to hire at least one of a Building Code designer registered with the Ontario government, professional planner, architect, and/or engineer to ensure the building is up to code.

Cover photo courtesy of the Ontario government’s website

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