A unique housing opportunity arises in the Niagara region as an approach to tackling the housing crisis in the form of a tiny home builder.
Aloft Housing Inc., a company founded by former Habitat for Humanity COO Keith Gowan and other former Habitat members seeks to take small home living to new heights.
Using over-parking structures, Aloft will construct tiny freestanding homes to maximize urban coverage and provide accommodations in urban cores and environments without impacting parking.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, approximately 3.5 million homes will be needed over the next decade to meet housing demand in Canada’s cities.
Using a modular design, Aloft will be able to build multiple units to link together to form housing units between 200 and 300 square feet of living space with all the amenities a person will need.
Priced at just under $175,000, the units will be fully furnished and offer ample living space, utilizing every square inch of the interior for maximum comfort.
The proof of concept was completed three weeks ago and there is now a lot of engagement with municipalities, developers and landowners to take this seriously as there is a lack of affordable housing, Gowan said, President of Aloft Housing Inc.
“Our plates full of a lot of touring and a lot of talking and a lot of following,” he said.
“Some of these follow-ups are starting to click and we’re seeing sales happening, and we’ll probably start construction in Q4 and then ramp up into 2023.”
Looking at the housing crisis from an affordable perspective, Gowan thinks ideas about what housing looks like need to change quickly to mitigate the fallout from the lack of housing that is holding people hostage to affordability and housing. options.
“We need housing, it’s at a crisis level and that’s where we seem to fit into a small branch of a solution,” he said.
“Municipalities and people are going to have to change their perception of how we live in a very short period of time, due to the pent-up demand and the prevailing push coming into the streets.”
Gowan notes that municipalities and housing organizations want to see models in action to provide solutions to their housing needs.
“They’re bringing in city staff to explore how we can do this and we can use that as a springboard or an example to use in other municipalities,” he said.
“They’re very excited about it and they keep calling us and coming back, so that’s always a good sign.”
Gowan said they weren’t targeting a particular demographic, but rather people looking for affordable housing and wanting a smaller footprint.
“We don’t have a specific person or end user, because of its flexibility it’s so adaptable to a variety of different mediums,” he said.
The only issue Gowan sees with the design is that it’s not fully wheelchair accessible, as the units would be mostly upstairs, but that doesn’t stop them from thinking about solutions.
“Because of the design we have, they are able-bodied, which means there are no accessible accommodations,” he said.
“We’re trying to figure that out but because of the breadth of demands we have it’s difficult so I would probably say the demographics are broad, if they don’t have accessibility issues, currently we let’s try to create some solutions for this.
Aloft Housing will be at the Ancaster Tiny Home show at the Ancaster Fairgrounds from August 4-7, where people can check out their designs.
To learn more about Aloft, visit https://alofthousing.com/