Tiny homes pitched as affordable housing option

City of Sarnia Sign

An effort has been launched to build tiny homes in Sarnia.

Jennifer McCann, Lisa Melanson and Michelle Parks, have formed a group called SMALL (Sarnia Making Affordable Living in Lambton), with the goal of creating the affordable housing option in the city.

McCann told council Monday, the compact structures would benefit a diverse group.

“We’re starting this to help give people a step up,” said McCann. “We’re thinking of seniors who can’t afford their rent and they have to choose between putting clothing on, or buying food and paying their rent. So, if they downgraded to something like this, we could help them.”

She said tiny homes are ideal for young people.

“There’s so many millennials who can not afford to purchase a home, because our homes start at around $180,000 around the city. So, this would give them a chance to save money to purchase their first home.”

McCann said they would also benefit single-parent families.

“They can move into these and give their children a better education, better clothing, maybe put them in sports.”

The group has received formal support from Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton.

CEO David Waters said depending on the size of the property, two to four homes could fit on a single lot.

He said the tiny homes, ranging in size from 300 to 500 square feet, would cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

Sarnia council has directed staff to investigate the concept and report back on what bylaw changes would be required to allow them.

The group was also encouraged by council to share their idea with Lambton County Council.