Canadians who might be looking for a rental in Kitchener have probably had a hard time. However, a new bylaw passed by the city council might make things a little bit easier. That's because tiny homes in Kitchener will now be allowed to be built on people's properties.
The new bylaw put in place on October 28 loosens restrictions regarding residential structures. This also includes things like granny flats, carriage houses, and possibly even an apartment above a garage.
"You've been able to duplex your house in Kitchener for a long time," Tim Donegani, a senior planner with the city told CBC News. "We've opened up the possibility for putting up to three units on the land."
The new bylaw was passed to alleviate pressure on the city's rental marketplace, which continues to fill up fast. While the tri-city area saw a 20% increase in available rental units over the past four years, demand for all of those units remained the same, leaving a vacancy rate of just 2.7%, according to Global News.
NOW Housing, a Cambridge-based tiny home developer, praised the new bylaw, saying it will help meet the demand for new housing that the city so desperately needs.
"So with smaller units being legalized now, there was a lot of times where you couldn't build anything smaller than 400 or 500 square feet," Now Housing president Matthew Lubberts told CTV News, "and now they've made it that you can build 145 square feet plus bathroom."
There are tiny homes in other cities in Canada already, such as this one in Vancouver for just under $100,000. While the tiny home community in Canada hasn't blown up just yet, some cities in the U.S., like Houston, have entire neighbourhoods of tiny houses.
A tiny home community was also built in Calgary to accommodate homeless veterans.
Of course, there will still be some rules regarding the construction of tiny houses. For example, there will be restrictions based on lot size and proximity to other houses.
Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.