Tiny home communities

Rebuilding Community

The goal of this project goes beyond providing just affordable and social housing, but strives to create beautiful, sustainable, environmentally sound, community-centric spaces. 

Click on each TAB below to learn about the models


Thoughtful Density






This section taken from Oberer Homes

The term “pocket neighborhood” was coined almost thirty years go when architect Ross Chapin built the Third Street Cottages in Langley, Washington. In recent years, however, these small and intimate neighborhoods are seeing a surge in popularity across the United State and Canada.

They exist in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods and simultaneously offer a high level of privacy while maintaining a close-knit community feel. But these aren’t the only benefits of pocket neighborhoods. Research has found that they have significant, positive long-term effects like better health, improved financial outlook for residents, and more


  • Cities can increase density without major infrastructure changes.
  • Tiny home Pocket Developments can easily be reversed by returning the property to its original state before redevelopment.
  • Pocket developments can be managed through permits and bylaw enforcement.
  • The benefits of dental density allow for multi-units to fit into existing neighbourhoods.
  • Pocket developments could provide some tax relief to property owners that provided their land for city-managed tiny home use or other incentives.



    Pocket neighbourhoods offer a close-knit community atmosphere, and it’s one of the main reasons people choose them. Today’s fast-paced, busy way of life can often leave people feeling secluded and disconnected from those around them. Pocket neighbourhoods take residents back to times when people truly connected with their neighbours and supported each other.

    This sense of community and neighbourly living provides a sense of belonging that has a positive impact on mental health and emotional well-being. For residents of all ages — from seniors ageing in place to young families raising children — community support makes life less stressful and more enjoyable.


    Pocket neighbourhoods have common spaces that also come with shared amenities for residents. Amenities can include shared buildings, storage sheds, pools, gardens, picnic areas, playgrounds, and more. Shared buildings often serve as a communal gathering space for events like potluck dinners, movie nights, game nights, exercise groups and more.

    Pocket neighbourhood residents share the responsibility of maintaining common outdoor spaces like gardens, parks, and open green areas. Neighbours also often share larger and more expensive items like grills, lawnmowers, and snow blowers. Some pocket neighbourhoods even have shared fruit and vegetable gardens where neighbours work together to grow their own food.

    Lower Living Costs

    As any homeowner knows, house-related living expenses (like utility bills and landscaping) can really add up. Smaller homes shared amenities, walkability, and efficient features all combine to create a lower-cost environment for residents of pocket neighbourhoods.


    Homes in pocket neighbourhoods are often built with the intention of reducing their carbon footprint and creating an environmentally-friendly community. They’re usually smaller in size and require less energy to heat and cool. Newer homes are often built with energy-efficient features such as solar panelling or Energy Star Certified appliances. There is often increased walkability within the pocket neighbourhood and these surrounding businesses, reducing carbon emissions from cars and public transportation vehicles.


     Pocket neighbourhoods can also serve as a central point around which businesses are built, such as grocery stores, retail shops, preschools, sports facilities, healthcare offices and more. They could also clustered to create seasonal living for workers who can afford to live year round.


    • Tiny homeowners can become part of a vibrant, sustainable, eco-responsible community as cooperative members.
    • Cooperative Tiny Towns are planned to remain affordable for generations to come.

    • Large acreage Tiny Towns can be expanded to accommodate the demand for more affordable and supportive housing, using our modular community design.

    • Tiny Towns have been designed to develop community amongst residents. The community model brings together all manner of residents, working cooperatively for the good of the community.

    • While the setup costs are capital intensive, we have developed a royalty plan to repay the investment over time.
    • Tiny Towns, within commuting distance of their host city, provide the least expensive affordable, and supportive housing option for Canadians.


    As part of our internal feasibility study, we have determined a cooperative fee of just $375 per month (site rent including utilities) will cover all ongoing expenses and build an operating fund for the future needs of each community.

    ON & OFF_GRID larger Communities

    When land that is zoned for a single-family dwelling is converted to a tiny home community, it becomes the fasted, most economical way to address affordable and supportive housing shortages in a sustainable and eco-responsible way.

    Our developments aim, if feasible, to provide a cooperatively owned and managed, sustainable, eco-responsible, state-of-the-art tiny home community. When connected to the host city’s public transit system through the community-provided electric bus, Tiny Towns will strive to embrace a net-zero living lifestyle.

    Each home is designed to be eco-responsible, using the resources required to operate in the most efficient way. Similarly, each development is designed to provide renewable resources to operate the community, as well as produce and fruits for the community’s consumption.

    Future Goal: We hope these developments will become part of the nationwide Tiny Town Cooperative, enabling homeowners and renters to move within the network if they are transportable and when relocating is required.

    Cooperatively owned and operated Tiny Towns are expected to remain affordable for generations to come.

    The key points used in determining the fees included:

    • A long-term-debt reduction fund set at 20% of cooperative fees. This covers the portion of start-up costs assigned to the community and drops to under 5% as the community expands.

    • A common expense fund to cover community operational expenses and maintenance.
    • Utility budgets for the maintenance and operation of each off-grid service.
    • A taxes component is part of the cooperative fee collected monthly on each site occupied in the community.
      This converts the municipal tax revenue from a single-family residence to multi-unit income, with very little additional expense to the municipality.


    COMMUNITY 1st Housing, where WELL-BEING & PURPOSE are what’s being built.

    On the road to recovery, it is often the mental, emotional, and physical well-being, not realized, that becomes a major barrier to reaching the next stage of overall health and stability. 

    For those living on the street, in homemade shelters, tents or even shelter spaces does not provide them with the foundational emotional, mental, and physical core needs to give them the strength to find the next stage in health and wellbeing.  

    A simple “home” frees people up to not need to carry the burden of feeling unsafe, unloved, and nowhere to belong.  It’s when these things are realized, they see hope and can be freed up to tackle the “hard” things. (rehab, training, education, counselling, etc).

    Taken from SquareOne Village Opportunity Village model

    Tiny Cabin Communities

    We propose a pilot project for a transitional village of 15-30 people currently going unhoused in our area. The Village will be self-governed with oversight provided by a not-for-profit organization. To the extent possible, some residents will be involved in the construction of their own shelter with the assistance of skilled architects and builders as necessary.

    Who will the Village serve?

    The population intend to serve is able to function in a community and abide by the community rules. The Village is not a solution for the stereotypical “chronically homeless person.” These are highly competent and independent people that simply do not have a place to go.


    How will the Villages be governed?

    The Village will be self-managed by the residents with oversight provided by the non-profit, (TBD). Residents will make decisions about how the village is managed and deal with minor disputes. The non-profit will ensure that the five basic rules are being upheld. In addition, we plan to have a liaison with the local Police Department in the case of an emergency, like any community.

    What are the rules and regulations going to be?

    4 basic, non-negotiable rules for the Village.  

    1. You must be able to live independently
    2. You must pay rent
    3. No violence to yourselves or others
    4. Everyone must contribute to the operation 
    and maintenance of the village.


    The single greatest cause of homelessness is a profound, catastrophic loss of family.

    Alan Graham

    Loaves & Fishes

    Open-space shelters often cannot accommodate some people and thus they choose a tent outside. These people are not refusing shelter, the shelter system cannot be all things to all people in the set-up they have. Couples, people with kids or pets are often not able to seek emergency shelter. Not all homeless are able to live on their own or pay rent, but a solution of tiny homes could allow for a new way to transition people from the street to a home.

    A Tiny Canin Community (sleeping pods with shared facility) or a pocket community like what is seen with 12 Neighbours is a great solution.

    As it stands, senior citizens account for at least 8.3% of Canada’s homeless shelter population. That number does not include the hidden homeless or those sleeping rough. It should be noted the number is trending upward as we speak. In 2017, approximately 62% of Canadian seniors admitted to having difficulty keeping their bills up to date.
    1 in 5 shelter users in Canada are youth.
    More than a third of young people who experience homelessness in Canada are from Ontario.

    20% of the Canadian homeless population are youth between 13 and 24.

    40% of homeless youth in Canada will have first experienced homelessness before the age of 16.

    Approximately 25% of persons reporting a disability are low-income, “earning less than one-half of the median Canadian income” (Wall, 2017). Employment and income for persons with disabilities are dependent upon the type of disability. Individuals with mental-cognitive disabilities have lower incomes than those with fine motor and dexterity disabilities.
    Urban Indigenous Peoples experience homelessness at a disproportionate rate and make up a significant percentage of people experiencing homelessness in cities. Research shows that Indigenous homelessness in major urban areas ranges from 20-50% of the total homeless population, while others have reported that the range may be much wider, at 11-96%. Put another way, in some Canadian cities such as Yellowknife or Whitehorse Indigenous Peoples make up 90 percent of the homeless population. Places like Thunder Bay and Winnipeg fair somewhat better; an average of 50 percent of those experiencing homelessness are Indigenous. In Toronto, Canada’s largest urban centre, Indigenous Peoples constitute around 15% of those experiencing homelessness in the city, even though they make up only around 0.5 of the total population. In fact, one study found that 1 in 15 Indigenous Peoples in urban centres experience homelessness compared to 1 in 128 for the general population. This means that Urban Indigenous Peoples are 8 times more likely to experience homelessness.
    Securing reliable employment and having access to adequate and affordable housing are critical first steps in the immigration settlement process. Newcomers, including immigrants and refugees, often face increasing barriers to affordable housing. This puts many newcomers at risk of homelessness because of various factors, including poverty, discrimination, racism, cuts to social programs, unrecognized foreign employment and educational credentials, delays in work permits and/or health-related issues. As a result, more immigrants and refugees are requiring shelter, drop-in and housing assistance in addition to settlement services.
    Securing reliable employment and having access to adequate and affordable housing are critical first steps in the immigration settlement process. Newcomers, including immigrants and refugees, often face increasing barriers to affordable housing. This puts many newcomers at risk of homelessness because of various factors, including poverty, discrimination, racism, cuts to social programs, unrecognized foreign employment and educational credentials, delays in work permits and/or health-related issues. As a result, more immigrants and refugees are requiring shelter, drop-in and housing assistance in addition to settlement services.
    Poverty has been consistently linked with poorer health, higher healthcare costs, greater demands on social and community services, more stress on family members, and diminished school success – not to mention huge costs associated with reduced productivity and foregone economic activity.
    Startup villages have long been seen as hotbeds for new ideas and company launches. StartUp Villages could be the one-stop incubator/accelerator services company that enables startups to bring their unique ideas and business concept to reality while living in an affordable, community-centric village.
    There are numerous examples of villages around the globe.

    9 major segments of our population are suffering from HAS (Housing Affordability Stress) or at risk emigration out of the area.

    Each one carries with it various degrees of financial, healthcare, and mental health burdens on society as a whole well beyond what just the individual experiences.

    We need a housing solution that is accessible, affordable, dignified and built around community.  That means smaller footprints and designs that inspire community living.  Apartments do not do this and the open-space shelters do not do this.

    This is not just solving a problem for the less fortunate, but a massive opportunity to grow our startup/gig/arts economy.

    We're excited to partner with local builders, developers, municipalities and the Province to create a pilot pocket community or neighbourhood in our region within the next two years.

    These micro-layout neighbourhoods will be a game-changer for both urban and suburban areas looking to minimize a development footprint, maximize community spirit and see all those in need find deeper affordable housing.

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