The180·THE 180

Tiny houses won't fix your big housing problems

This week, proponents of the tiny house movement will meet municipal officials from Metro Vancouver to discuss the idea as part of a broader housing strategy. But Steve Venegas warns tiny houses aren't a realistic solution.
A 350 sq-ft house beloning to a Victoria, B.C. couple. (courtesy Jocelyn Lukow)
Listen4:06

Tiny homes are all the rage these days. After all, anything that small must be affordable, right? Plus, they're so darn cute. 

In Metro Vancouver, ground zero for the Canadian housing crisis, tiny home advocates will meet with officials to try and stake their ground in the region's housing strategy. 

But Steve Venegas has a reality check: tiny housing is not a realistic solution.

Steve Venegas works for CBC. (Submitted by Steve Venegas)

He says he considered entering  the tiny house market — until he realized: with a wife and a daughter, and a car, and Vancouver's rainy climate, it just didn't add up. 

Plus there's this: "Many tiny houses are built on trailer beds for transport and zoning requirements, meaning your tiny house can be wheeled around. And away. I couldn't get comfortable knowing that my house could be robbed, literally, by any enterprising no-goodnik with a truck and a trailer hitch."

I couldn't get comfortable knowing that my house could be robbed, literally, by any enterprising no-goodnik with a truck and a trailer hitch.- Steve Venegas

Now there are talks about tiny home villages: or as Venegas calls them, "artisanal trailer parks." And besides, he says, Vancouver property is worth way too much to be affordable for even a collection of  tiny homes. 

But Venegas thinks he has a real solution to the problems with tiny homes: "Tiny house tall towns. Multiple tiny house villages, built on top of each other, all in a tower, with an elevator access to the different levels! And while we're at it, we can throw in a gym. And parking. And an amenities room. We'll call them condos."

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