Tiny homes, big ideas: Fredericton non-for-profit builds tiny homes to address affordable housing shortage
With so many struggling to find affordable housing, a Fredericton entrepreneur thinks tiny homes may be a big part of the solution.
Software engineer Marcel LeBrun started ’12 Neighbours’ a non-for profit with tiny plans for a big plot of land.
"A tiny home community in particular came about as a goal to optimize for dignity the idea of giving someone their own four walls, their own door they can lock, and something that they can call their own, their own space is really important to create the most dignified experience for people," explains LeBrun.
LeBrun and his team are building what they call a ‘social-enterprise community’ of 96 tiny homes for those who can’t afford their home.
He says he researched the best ingredients that go into a successful community.
"As a community we tend to be good all throughout North America at relief so we help people with their circumstance but you come back later and not really much changes, whether its giving someone emergency food or shelter for a night but how do you actually help people transform,” says LeBrun.
The homes will be 10 by 24 feet in size and the community was designed based on consultations with some of the people who need them.
"I've spent the whole summer actually engaging in conversation with people who are housing insecure or living rough currently,” says LeBrun.
The project is all about making housing affordable.
"People will be assessed and be charged about a third of their income so if someone's on social assistance then they might be paying $200 a month, and be reassessed every year based on that.”
The community will also have social supports through community managers.
"They know not only everyone’s name but everyone's goals and dreams so that they can help facilitate and walk beside people hope to achieve their goals," says LeBrun.
And he says, rounding out the community will be a social-enterprise center with businesses and programs for the community's occupants.
"That will have a cafe, retail, an art store, and tiny home manufacturing so we'll be using them as training businesses to help people develop skills."
LeBrun is hoping to have the first block of homes ready for this winter.