Founder of the Tiny House Festival, and advocate for micro homes across Canada Lisa Chessari, came to Manitoba last week to push for clear municipal zoning regulations around tiny homes.
The Tiny House Festival is a not-for-profit organization working with tiny home supporters across the country to provide sustainable affordable housing for Canadians.
Chessari was successful in rallying tiny home supporters in and around Winnipeg last week, during her fifteen day cross country trip. Chessari was invited to Winnipeg by Mini Homes of Manitoba Inc. which has been working for almost two years on changes to bylaws and zoning to make tiny-home living legal in Manitoba.
The tiny-home movement became a reality in Manitoba in 2015 with an open house for the first tiny home sold in the province. The couple Anita Munn and her husband Darrell Manuliak, founders of Mini Homes of Manitoba Inc., started the concept in Manitoba encouraging more interest from prospective buyers, millennials and retired folk as the movement takes its next steps. They want to start a "tiny home" village by co-purchasing land with a group, providing they attract enough interest.
Chessari said after her fifteen day trip across the country she held over eleven educational events.
"It was amazing to seeing just how many people showed up. We had city Councillors, city planners, directors and economic development people talking to us about what can be done for affordable housing projects. Ultimately it is not just a tiny house on wheels, it's a whole concept of allowing tiny or micro homes on co-purchased land, providing the opportunity for people to share the land, and make it more affordable for everyone. "
Chessari went on to say she learned so much traveling across the country, and she did not know what to expect from the different provinces, noting the lack of affordable housing was an issue they all shared.
"With a recent economy shift in Canada the new generation of millennial is looking for something they can afford without having to slave for a mortgage that can almost never be paid back. The goal of the meetings I held across Canada in May was to educate people on how to become developers, builders and establish a conversation on how they can build their own micro housing community, or establish their own project," explained Chessari.
Chessari added municipalities have been very open to the idea of micro homes and villages, as long as the tiny house is up to code, and the composting toilets are replaced by flushing ones, noting officials from rural areas in Manitoba are in the beginning stages of their tiny home project.