WebStamp March 20, 2019
Affordable Sustainable Living
With today’s economy, it can be trying to live an affordable sustainable lifestyle. The biggest expense is usually housing costs. You either have a large mortgage or pay a high rent which accounts for around 30% of your income. Then there are the additional expenses such as building maintenance, condo fees, renovations, power, water, gas, internet, TV, and… It can become quite costly finding a place to live.
To ensure that Calgarians living on lower incomes have a safe and stable place to call home the City has developed a Calgary Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy for the next ten years. The report mentions that 88,000 Calgary households are currently in need of affordable housing. These low-income Calgarian families are overspending on housing which restricts their opportunities for advancement and forces them to postpone emergency savings and to cut back on food, education, medical bills, and transportation.
The social enterprise created and owned by The City of Calgary, Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation, works with builders, developers, lenders and lawyers to helping moderate-income Calgarians with the opportunity of homeownership. These social programs for affordable housing are a good start to sustainable affordable living in an urban environment. The city needs to expand the program to include the development of small/tiny house lots allowing for affordable independent property ownership.
Even with the development of affordable housing, there seems to be a lack of interest in increasing inner-city density, both politically and socially. Allowing the division of existing lots into small/tiny house lots as I talked about in Developing A Tiny House Community article would allow property owners to own an affordable piece of city property for about a ¼ of the price of an average city lot. This concept could be even expanded to the development of entire small/tiny house communities. These small/tiny lot communities could be built in undeveloped lands such as the former Midfield Trailer Park and the cancelled proposed East Hills trailer park development.
The problem today is the outdated land-use bylaws of the 20th Century that hinder the development of Small/Tiny House Communities. Small/Tiny House Communities (STHC) are practical and feasible and offers a less stressful way of living. STHCs are a great way to develop affordable land ownership allowing for greater freedom and less stress worrying about living. WebStamp’s Tiny House Bylaw Amendment Movement outlines that the allowable minimum lot size is 30% too wide and 50% to deep needed for tiny house communities. Next issue we will look into the minimum requirements for a small house community.
Certain STHCs can be developed as transitional housing for the homeless such as the upcoming Tiny House Community Homes for Heroes. These communities can assist people, whose challenges have caused them to become homeless, by providing affordable rental housing and a support system helping to deliver stability and dignity towards developing a secure life.
There are many advantages for the citizens of a metropolis to the development of STHCs. The biggest benefit would be providing its citizens with affordable sustainable housing. STHCs would also help reduce urban sprawl and provide a better and more fruitful living environment.
In order for change to happen, we the citizens must voice our opinion. Inform your city counsellor you want to see more affordable home ownership. Join the M.A.D. Movement and Make A Difference for small/tiny homeowners allowing them to live inside the city.
Articles in this Issue
WebStamp March 20, 2019