Some time ago I was asked to provide an example of a letter one might send to their local elected officials, at the time I was struggling to put something together myself.
Fast forward and here we have it!
I think it’s important to point out that the letter is written with Ontario in mind but is easily adaptable to any province or territory.
You’ll find some of the text is italicized; I suggest that you take the time and tailor this section to why and how tiny homes in your community may impact the town financially, economically and demographically.
You know your community best and will know what the issues are there.
If we all take a few minutes to send this letter (or your own) to our local elected officials (Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors, etc.) we will start to raise the awareness of tiny living from coast to coast!
Don’t be afraid to contact your elected officials! They’re people too.
Feel free to cut and paste the letter into your favourite word processor or directly into an email.
123 Your Street
Your City/Town, Prov. A1A 1A1
Mayor Jane Smith* (* change Mayor for other elected titles or staff as needed)
c/o Your Municipality
123 Any Street
City/Town, Prov. A1A 1A1
RE: Tiny Homes in (your town name)
Dear Mayor Smith*:
You may or may not have heard of the “tiny house movement” or even of a “tiny house” but I hope after reading this letter you will be further informed on what this is all about and how I believe it can benefit (your town name) in many ways.
Tiny homes, although no formal definition is available, is in the case of my letter a home consisting of 500 square feet or less. The tiny living movement has been gaining momentum over the last 15 years on the west coast of the US. As home prices across North American continue to go up, living tiny options continues to grow in appeal.
Tiny homes are primary residences for singles, couples and families and can exist off of wheels or on a typical foundation.
When you see images of tiny homes they’re on wheels, why is this?
This is so tiny home dwellers can live legally to a sense. Putting them on wheels makes them considered RV’s, like a travel trailer that you have for summer camping.
This isn’t the case, tiny’s are built as full time residences. These homes are often built to exceed the minimum building code for your typical home.
This brings me to the reason for my letter.
As awareness of tiny homes continues to grow so does the challenge of finding accommodating municipalities to call home.
Why? Most municipalities have a minimum square footage requirement that is in excess of 600 square feet. Currently the minimum square footage of homes in (your town name) is _____.
Our town could benefit from the increased tax revenues by allowing tiny homes as accessory dwellings. on their own or as part of a community. Communities could be established on surplus properties or road allowances in a long term lease or purchase agreement with the municipality.
Other benefits to consider are:
• an infusion of young adults in the community, a welcomed boost to any town with an aging population.
• an example for others to learn from.
• increased access to affordable housing options, something vital in this community.
• not to mention the potential business these could bring to the area in related industries and otherwise.
Provisions can be made to allow for tiny homes, both on foundations and on wheels in (your town name) through the zoning by-law.
I encourage you to give this some serious thought and look forward to hearing about discussion at the council table, there are other communities in Ontario considering a move to allow tiny homes – look to North Hastings and Frontenac County for examples.
I look forward to seeing you with some guests during a delegation I’ve scheduled for (insert date).