Changing perceptions: Niagara tiny homes builder believes its approach part of the solution to housing crisis

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A unique housing opportunity is presenting itself in Niagara Region as an approach to tackling the housing crisis in the form of a tiny home builder.

Aloft Housing Inc., a company started by former Habitat for Humanity chief operations officer, Keith Gowan, and other former Habitat members is looking to take tiny home living to new heights.

By utilizing over-parking structures, Aloft will build tiny homes on legs to maximize urban coverage and provide housing in urban cores and settings without impacting parking.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. approximately 3.5 million homes will be needed within the next decade to meet demand for housing in cities across Canada.

Through a modular design, Aloft will be able to build multiple units to connect together to form housing units between 200-300 square feet of living space with all the amenities a person will need.

With a price tag of just under $175,000, units will come fully furnished and provide an expansive living space, utilizing every square inch of the interior for maximum comfort.

The proof of concept was completed three weeks ago and now there is a lot of engagement with municipalities, developers, and landowners to take this seriously because there is a lack of affordable housing, said Gowan, president of Aloft Housing Inc.

“Our plate’s full of a lot of tours and a lot of discussions and a lot of follow up,” he said.

“Some of those follow ups are starting to click and we see some sales happening, and we will probably start construction in Q4 and then ramping up in 2023.”

Looking at the housing crisis from an affordability standpoint, Gowan believes ideas on what housing looks like need to change rapidly to mitigate the fallout of the lack of housing holding people hostage when it comes to cost and options.

“We need housing, it’s at a crisis level and that’s where we seem to fit into a little branch of a solution,” he said.

“Municipalities and people are going to have to change their perception of how we live in a very short timeframe, because of pent up demand and surge that’s prevalent and coming down the street.”

Gowan notes there’s interest from municipalities and housing organizations wanting to see models in action to provide solutions for their housing needs.

“They’re bringing in city staff to explore how we can get this done and we can use this as a springboard or an example to use in other municipalities,” he said.

“They’re very excited about it and they keep calling us and keep coming back, so that’s always a good sign.”

Gowan said they aren’t targeting a particular demographic, rather individuals looking for affordable housing and wanting a smaller footprint.

“We don’t have a specific person or end user, because of the flexibility of it, it’s so adaptable to a variety of different means,” he said.

The only issue Gowan sees with the design is it is not fully accessible for those with mobility issues as units would be primarily upstairs, but that is not stopping them from brainstorming solutions.

“Because of the design we have, it’s able-bodied persons, meaning there’s no accessible dwelling units,” he said.

“We’re trying to figure that out, but because of the width demands we have, it’s tough, so I would probably say the demographic is wide, if they don’t have any accessibility issues, currently, we’re trying to create some solutions for that.”

Aloft Housing will be at the Ancaster Tiny Home show at the Ancaster Fairground from August 4-7 where people can check out their designs.

To learn more about Aloft go to