Nfld. & Labrador

Tiny homes turn tiny town into a trendy place to live

Two little homes are built and another one should be completed later this month at the tiny home subdivision in Stephenville.

Houses are selling at the tiny home subdivision in Stephenville

Sean Hickey stands in front of one of his tiny homes at the subdivision in Stephenville. There are three houses built so far and several lots sold. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Two little homes are built and another one should be completed later this month at a tiny home subdivision in Stephenville.

Developer Sean Hickey started the project a couple of years ago, hoping to offer affordable small homes to students and seniors.

"I wanted to do something different because not everyone can afford the $300,000 home," Hickey said.

"We decided to go with this concept. This model we are standing in today we are selling for $89,950 furnished with the land."

Hickey points to one finished 560-square-foot home, complete with foundation, backyard and sodded lawn.

This upstairs nook in Hickey's tiny home features a second living room and space for a queen size bed. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

The house is furnished and comes with a kitchen, bedroom, pullout couch and a great nook upstairs that fits a queen-size bed and seating area.

The idea of a tiny home subdivision didn't go over well with Stephenville town council at first, but once Mayor Tom Rose did his homework that attitude changed.

"Homes in Stephenville up to this point had to be at least 750 square feet to meet a dwelling standard. Basically, we had to do some research. It's trending and a new phenomenon out there. We had to go through municipal planning to ensure we were permitted to do so," said Rose.

Other people across the province have considered building tiny homes too but have come up against the same red tape — the houses are too small to meet the definition of a dwelling in most municipalities.

The first tiny home in the 13 lot subdivision in Stephenville is 560 square feet. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Stephenville town council only had to change the wording to "smaller than 750 square feet" to allow Hickey to build tiny homes on his 13 tiny lots.

Property taxes are lower, but the mayor hopes this trendy living idea will attract new people to the area.

"That's good revenue to the town. It's bringing in new people and bringing attention to Stephenville, and I think it's the right thing to do," said Rose.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Colleen Connors