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December 7, 2017

Tiny house project envisioned for downtown Whitehorse

The Blood Ties Four Directions Centre is moving ahead with plans for a five-unit tiny home development downtown.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Patricia Bacon, Blood Ties’ executive director, addressed council on the zoning change the group is seeking.

The change would allow the group to place five tiny houses on its recently purchased property at Jarvis Street and Sixth Avenue, and waive a requirement for indoor or secured bicycle storage.

If the zoning amendment isn’t granted, the group will move forward with a four-unit development on the site as is currently permitted on the Residential Downtown zoned lot.

Bacon recalled the four years the group operated the Steve Cardiff House downtown from 2012 to 2016.

The land was provided by the owner until last year, when the property owner decided to move ahead with plans to develop the lot.

The house has since been moved to storage, “where it rests still.” It would be moved out of storage to the new site for the new development.

Under Blood Ties’ program, tenants would be provided with supports with rent based on income.

Bacon also emphasized the program – which follows a housing-first model – would not take away from the private rental market.

The clients are those who are precariously housed, generally struggle to find housing, and require supports to keep that shelter.

“There is a need,” she said, also pointing out that there won’t be a time limit on how long residents can stay in their units.

The site will be designed “to feel like a community,” Bacon said.

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