Blood Ties Four Directions, a private not-for-profit, purchased a lot at 6140 Sixth Avenue in October and would like to build a tiny-home community of five units to create permanent housing for its clients, said executive director Patricia Bacon at a city council meeting on Dec. 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Blood Ties says tiny house project will ‘compliment’ Yukon government initiative

‘I’m hoping mayor and council sees this as in line with their own affordable housing plans’

The new tiny home project being developed by Blood Ties Four Directions will “compliment” the territorial government’s housing project at Fifth Street and Wood Street, says executive director Patricia Bacon.

Blood Ties Four Directions, a private not-for-profit, purchased a lot at 6140 Sixth Ave. in October and will build a tiny-home community of five units to create permanent housing for its clients, who often experience homelessness, poverty and health issues. The organization advocates for and supports people in the community with HIV, AIDS or Hepatitis C.

That project will not have 24-hour care or as intensive care as the one being created by the government, but is more for people who don’t “need a social worker in their back pocket all the time,” Bacon said.

“We need a range of options and to provide the right solutions at the right time,” she said. “We can’t expect everyone to need the same thing…. We cannot think about housing as one-size-fits-all.”

The government project, which was announced Nov. 22, is a joint venture between the Department of Health and Social Services and the Yukon Housing Corporation. It is intended to provide affordable, permanent housing for vulnerable people who need ongoing support. When completed in 2019, the facility will have 15 units and provide 24-hour on-site support and is expected to cost $2.7 million.

Both projects are slated to be true housing-first initiatives. Housing first is a philosophy that prioritizes getting permanent homes for vulnerable people before getting them off drugs or alcohol. It differs from a more widely-used housing philosophy known as “housing readiness” which requires addictions and mental health treatment before being admitted into a housing unit.

The Blood Ties project comes out of a successful earlier project, a single-unit tiny home run by the organization, the Steve Cardiff house. That home was on a lot owned by a developer between 2012 and 2016, until the owner asked that it be moved so he could build on the lot. The organization was unable to find another home for the Steve Cardiff house and put it into storage, where it has been ever since. This project will see the Steve Cardiff house and up to four other tiny homes similar to it built on the lot.

The project is “designed to feel like a community,” Bacon said.

The lot is currently zoned for a maximum of four units. A bylaw which would allow for an exception to the zoning and permit all five desired units, passed first reading at the Dec. 11 regular council meeting.

The lot can easily accommodate five units, Bacon said. Having five would make running the project more affordable for Blood Ties, which took a $200,000 loan to purchase to the lot.

That bylaw also asks for an exemption to a requirement for class 1 bicycle parking. That requirement demands that new multi housing units in that area have private or otherwise enclosed storage for bikes, which Bacon said is not practical for tiny housing developments like this one, where space is at a premium.

“We’re building tiny houses,” Bacon said. “There’s no room for that … (and) many clients probably wouldn’t have bicycles anyways.”

“I’m hoping mayor and council sees this as in line with their own affordable housing plans,” she said. “We’re not proposing something garish or out of line with development.”

The issue will receive a public hearing Jan. 15, 2018, with a final vote scheduled for Jan. 29, 2018.

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Greyhound’s plans to axe B.C., Yukon bus routes get approved

Company says B.C. services have lost $70M over last decade

YG slow to reveal tender info for new public contracts

Work will be exempt from national free-trade rules

Plenty of Yukon talent in KIJHL playoffs

8 Yukoners playing on teams in the big dance

How suite it is: Whitehorse council mulls amendment to allow suites where they’re currently banned

Coun. Dan Boyd fears move a slippery slope to more affordable housing

No Resource Gateway construction work this season, YG says

‘We’re not as advanced as we would have liked to have been but we still are advancing’

Man who sexually abused girls a good candidate for treatment, eventual release, psychiatrist says

Dr. Shabreham Lohrasbe is an expert witness in the dangerous offender hearing for the man

Robots don’t rule over us yet, but they do sell lunch

Not everyone will be taken into the future, as Ilya Kabakov once said

YG seeks to ease neighbourhood concerns over housing first project

YG will consult more once design for downtown building is complete

Yukon skiers race to victory at Sima Cup

‘The snow conditions, the visibility and the grooming were out of the ordinary’

Cold weather hampers Babe Southwick Memorial Race

‘It was nice to see people out there because we didn’t expect as many volunteers to show up’

Yukon war memorial hidden in Vancouver

A dramatic and beautiful memorial to the fallen of World War I is not well known to Yukoners today

Of ravens, eagles, livers and lead

Environment Yukon’s animal health unit has been testing livers of scavenging birds since 2013

Most Read