Tiny homes start rolling into Kelowna, B.C.

Click to play video: 'Tiny homes arrive in Kelowna for unhoused population'
Tiny homes arrive in Kelowna for unhoused population
Three months after being announced, tiny homes for the unhoused population are finally making their way onto the Kelowna site which will soon become a tiny home community. The city's mayor was hoping they would be operational in December but they won't be up and running until next month, with the bulk of the winter season and those frigid temperatures behind us. – Jan 22, 2024

Kelowna’s long-awaited contingent of tiny homes is rolling into place.

The 60 tiny homes ordered last year started arriving in the city on Monday and the last one should be in place by Wednesday.

They are settling into the designated site on Crowley Road, adjacent to the current outdoor sheltering site, and according to officials on site, a crane will be used on Wednesday to move them into place.

The 60-square-foot units, which should be built in the next few months, are the fastest and most cost-effective way to meet that community’s needs, Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas said when plans for the tiny homes were announced in October 2023.

“I’ve been in them, it creates a great environment. There’s a very warm area, there’s a bed that’s provided, there’s a dresser that’s provided, there’s an area to hang clothes that’s provided,” Dyas said. “It’s the best possible solution that we can do, with the need that is in front of us, very quickly.”

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Click to play video: 'BC Housing to reveal locations of tiny homes this week'
BC Housing to reveal locations of tiny homes this week

Support services such as daily meals, 24-7 staffing, access to skills training and support navigating the housing system are expected to be available on site. Individuals moving into these new homes will be assessed and matched with appropriate support. A communal washroom and meal area will be provided separate from the units.

Pallet Shelter, based out of Washington, built Kelowna’s tiny homes.

The company put its first tiny village into action in 2018 in Tacoma, Wash. Since then, it’s built 121 villages in North America, and Kelowna is its first significant foray into the Canadian market.

“The pallet shelter is sort of that interim stepping stone of ‘we, as a society, should not let the streets be the waiting room for this problem,’” Sammi Anderson, the vice-president of regulatory and legal operations, said late last year.

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“You need to get under a roof and you need to be warm and you need some help getting back on your feet and then the governments with whom we work and the smart people who are dedicated to this cause with whom we work think about post-pallet housing.”

According to October 2023 data from the City of Kelowna’s bylaw services, the number of people appearing to be sheltering outdoors daily in the downtown core, North End, which includes the rail trail, Midtown and Rutland, was 299 at its peak. The September average was 262, the highest monthly average counted and up from 161 last year, or a 63 per cent increase.

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