Nicole Beatty CFRE appointed Chair of Think Tiny Homes Northumberland Steering Committee

Think Tiny Homes Northumberland Steering Committee established to consider innovative solutions for increasing demand for affordable housing

Port Hope, ON – May 28, 2019 – Habitat for Humanity Northumberland (HFHN) is proud to announce that it has established a chapter of its organization to investigate the development of a tiny homes project in west Northumberland.

Think Tiny Homes Northumberland (TTHN), the name of the HFHN chapter, is working to promote the charity’s mission in Port Hope and Cobourg through the realization of building tiny homes as an option on the continuum of housing (affordable rental or homeownership).  TTHN is made up of 9 appointed members and a network of community resource experts.  The purpose of the Steering Committee is to investigate, propose, plan, facilitate partnerships and raise funds to support the development of a tiny homes pilot project.  TTHN has identified the Municipality of Port Hope for the first potential build. 

“A group of concerned citizens have been meeting for over a year discussing the need for and possibility of tiny homes as a way to respond to the housing crisis in Northumberland,” says Nicole Beatty, Chair of the TTHN Steering Committee.  “We didn’t want to create another non-profit housing organization in the community as we believe it’s essential to collaborate and leverage existing trust, relationships and resources.  So, we socialized the concept around and Habitat for Humanity Northumberland found value in what we’re proposing to do.  We’re grateful to Meaghan Macdonald and the Habitat board for seeing the merit in investigating tiny homes.  We feel this is going to be a transformational partnership.”

The Steering Committee is still looking to appoint two members, in particular professionals in planning, engineering and legal counsel as it pertains to tiny homes.  Community members with expertise in related fields are also welcome. Interested citizens are invited to contact Nicole Beatty at nicole.e.beatty@gmail.com for more information.  The Steering Committee is responsible for the entire project and has been communicating with similar community projects in Hamilton and Durham Region.

Plans for the pilot project are still in its preliminary phases but the proposed vision is to build a micro village of 10 tiny homes.  The homes will be managed by HFHN and will follow its ownership model.  There could also be an opportunity for nonprofit partners to purchase a home and use it for their own purposes.  All of this and more will be dependent on feasibility, availability of land, zoning, public engagement, permits and fundraising.

“This is an innovative project for Habitat for Humanity to consider expanding its work in Northumberland while diversifying affordable options in the housing mix,” says Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director. “The chapter model follows best practice across Canada but a Habitat chapter dedicated to building affordable tiny homes would be the first of its kind.”

Tiny homes have been an emerging trend in affordable housing solutions for well over a decade now.  HFHN and TTHN are aware that there’s great interest in the community.  They are committed to a coordinated approach to tiny homes and encourage interested volunteers, businesses and nonprofit agencies to contact them for further information or to get involved with the project.

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