Whitehorse Daily Star

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LIVING SMALL – The Blood Ties Four Directions Centre’s proposed Steve Cardiff tiny house project, on the right here, is seen in this illustration. The house on the left is already standing. Inset Patricia Bacon Illustration courtesy KOBAYASHI AND ZEDDA ARCHITECTS LTD.

Tiny house project envisioned for downtown

The Blood Ties Four Directions Centre is moving ahead with plans for a five-unit tiny home development downtown.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 6, 2017

The Blood Ties Four Directions Centre is moving ahead with plans for a five-unit tiny home development downtown.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Patricia Bacon, Blood Ties’ executive director, addressed council on the zoning change the group is seeking.

The change would allow the group to place five tiny houses on its recently purchased property at Jarvis Street and Sixth Avenue, and waive a requirement for indoor or secured bicycle storage.

If the zoning amendment isn’t granted, the group will move forward with a four-unit development on the site as is currently permitted on the Residential Downtown zoned lot.

Bacon recalled the four years the group operated the Steve Cardiff House downtown from 2012 to 2016.

The land was provided by the owner until last year, when the property owner decided to move ahead with plans to develop the lot.

The house has since been moved to storage, “where it rests still.” It would be moved out of storage to the new site for the new development.

Under Blood Ties’ program, tenants would be provided with supports with rent based on income.

Bacon also emphasized the program – which follows a housing-first model – would not take away from the private rental market.

The clients are those who are precariously housed, generally struggle to find housing, and require supports to keep that shelter.

“There is a need,” she said, also pointing out that there won’t be a time limit on how long residents can stay in their units.

The site will be designed “to feel like a community,” Bacon said.

While the organization had set a one-year time limit for those who lived at the Steve Cardiff House, Bacon said, it put a lot of pressure on residents.

Often, the clients’ health issues are serious, and that one year is spent just getting to a stable place.

The group learned from its experience with the house that it’s better to not put a time limit on how long clients can live in the home.

Rather, the best way to support clients is not to set a time limit as long as the client is continuing to work on his or her program.

Bacon noted the zoning amendment to allow five tiny homes rather than four would allow Blood Ties a little financial “wiggle room”.

That way, it could pay back the loans for the land and continue offering its programs to help those experiencing homelessness, poverty and health issues.

The proposal to waive the bike storage requirement comes due to the limited space for a larger bike storage structure as well as the potential for vandalism.

Council won’t vote on first reading until next week, but it appears a number of members support the initiative.

“I’m really excited about the whole concept,” said Coun. Betty Irwin.

Others commented that they’re pleased the group has found a way to bring back the tiny homes program and that they understand the value and need for the initiative.

If first reading is approved next week, a public hearing would be held in the new year at council’s Jan. 15 session.

An administrative report to council on the input gathered would follow on Jan. 22, with second and third readings then happening on Jan. 29.

The Steve Cardiff House is named after the Yukon NDP MLA who died in a traffic accident in July 2011 near Lewes Lake.

Comments (14)

Up 1 Down 0

Nile Nukon on Dec 12, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Feel bad for the neighbours. Nothing like living next to a trailer park.

Up 8 Down 0

Yukon Watchdog on Dec 11, 2017 at 9:18 am

With two-story tiny homes, these places will also be restricted to those with no mobility issues. This is not a well-thought-out plan, in any respect. This plan should be reconsidered for so many reasons.

Up 6 Down 1

Josey Wales on Dec 10, 2017 at 9:34 am

Seems there are a couple fads here, tiny homes and tiny minds.
The ngo headquarters of Canadastan, folks drawing wages displaying their virtue. Seems I have moved to east van, all with zero carbon footprint....as it came here.
Good luck on your visions of a social utopia, and when you need more public money? Remember the line now serpentines from our hall and down a few blocks, rife with virtuous ngo reps.

Up 8 Down 0

yukon56 on Dec 8, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Stupid plan. Who will pay heating costs? Larger apartment complex makes more sense.

Up 7 Down 0

north_of_60 on Dec 8, 2017 at 4:06 pm

This group clearly has more money than it needs if it can afford trendy architects and chooses to build their impractical designs.
My charitable donations go to groups who spend their limited resources wisely.

Up 7 Down 0

Bob Ablanalp on Dec 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

a trailer park by any other name ...........

Up 10 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Dec 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

Five single detached homes will vent more heat and consume more energy to produce it. A multi-unit structure would be a much wiser investment from a save the world - stop global warming perspective. The capital construction costs would be more affordable too, but the tiny house concept is fashionable now and will be seen as innovative and designed to meet the needs of low income renters when in fact, the results will not be as worthwhile in the long term.

Up 10 Down 0

alex on Dec 7, 2017 at 1:48 pm

The building shown on the rendering to the left of the little homes would be a better bet.
Unless these tiny homes are sitting on trailers, that 5x foundation, 5x water/sewer connection, 5x power and meter, etc etc. etc. looks nice on paper but give your head a shake. That is not the way to best spend the little money you have. Just my 2 cents.

Up 7 Down 0

yukonmom on Dec 7, 2017 at 8:41 am

this area of downtown went through a big process to get rid of conditional use and came up with four units per lot and that is what people are building including the apartments next door. why when k and z are involved is there always a push to relax the zoning? always. zoning is there to help people plan what kind of neighbourhood they want to live in. please respect the zoning or just close down the planning part of the planning and development department and let people do whatever they want to like they do in houston,texas and we know how that turned out.

Up 0 Down 3

Plitico on Dec 6, 2017 at 10:03 pm

This is a good idea but I question the removal of the bike storage. Most chained up bikes are easy to steal.

Up 6 Down 0

YXY on Dec 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Shed roofs? What appears to be metal siding? Why they look like KZA houses, only tiny. Wait, they are KZA houses only tiny!

Up 12 Down 0

joe on Dec 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Why would you consider five single detached units when economies of scale clearly show it would be much cheaper to build a five-plex ? it goes against all long standing economic principles.

Up 5 Down 0

ProScience Greenie on Dec 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Steve Cardiff was an awesome guy and an awesome tradesperson and could easily build comfortable tiny homes and do so at a very low cost. Sadly, once everyone takes their cut these new proposed home won't be low cost. Want to help those in need then reduce government bloat, inefficiency and those dipping too deeply into the gravy train.

Up 12 Down 0

north_of_60 on Dec 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Is this group of five cabins really the best use of their limited financial resources? It's likely that an eight unit apartment building with much lower operating and maintenance costs could be built with the same amount of money.

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