Photo courtesy Sunshine Tiny Homes
VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Pamela Robertson is continuing to pursue her dream of building a cluster of tiny homes in West Howe Sound.
“I have a heart for the tiny home community to be in that area,” said Robertson, the founder of Sunshine Tiny Homes.
Two years ago, Robertson launched a GoFundMe ask of $2 million to develop homes on two properties at 2104 Twin Creeks Road.
“Since then, things have kind of congruently been building and working towards that,” Robertson said.
She hopes to change Bylaw 310 to make tiny homes permanent dwellings, and to build roughly 50 homes on the 29-acre site that’s worth nearly $900,000.
She said the site is zoned for campground with RV-serviceable lots.
“When we build our tiny homes, we build them through the CSA Z240 and 241 standards, which are the RV series, so they actually qualify as recreational vehicles,” Robertson said. “So we would be able to, on that property, mimic or replicate what the Langdale RV Park is, Gilmour Road RV Park… we would be able to move forward in that direction.”
Robertson added that she is working with the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SRD) to find ways for people to live in these tiny homes in peace.
She hopes to acquire the land and build infrastructure in stages.
“We would be looking at doing it in three parts,” Robertson said. “We can also manufacture homes, is what the bylaw allows, so we would be able to manufacture the tiny homes, which will bring sort of a peaceful environment to our operations.”
Robertson is hoping to brainstorm with West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and MP Adam Vaughan and their party “to see if there is, through CMHC or BC Housing, an opportunity, and if there’s funding available federally to move forward with the project.”
Tiny homes measure, on average, between 200 to 420 square feet. The homes can feature free standing soaker tubs, standing showers, full enclosed tub areas, washer/drier combos, and all come with a hookup ready. And they all are RV compatible.
When Robertson and her mom set out to build her first tiny home, she said that she “had a compulsion that I’ve never experienced in my life to have to build one of these things.”
At the time, a dear friend of hers with three children was struggling to find an affordable place to live.
“So it just seemed like a no-brainer to move forward with building tiny homes to help facilitate displacement in the community,” Robertson said. “Not necessarily homelessness – they were homeless but they were more displaced. They have the ability to rent places but because of the rent becoming exponential, they are being displaced out of affordability.”
She added that tiny homes are ideal for retirees looking to downsize into a smaller unit, either on their property or off their property.
“This was something that I saw as being a solution to the housing crisis without it being something that the government had to take on.”