10/23 Tiny homes’ popularity surging while Winnepeg municipal bylaws lag

Anita Munn inspects the handywork in one of the tiny bathrooms built by her and her partner, Darrell Manuliak.

Anita Munn inspects the handywork in one of the tiny bathrooms built by her and her partner, Darrell Manuliak.

Tiny Homes are taking off in popularity with people across the country joining the miniature movement but homebuilders in Manitoba say municipal bylaws haven’t caught up with the craze.

Darrell Manuliak, who owns Mini Homes of Manitoba with his wife Anita Munn, said they have sold five of the tiny dwellings in their first year of business in the province. They already have a wait list for 2017.

“When the average price of homes is over $200,000, affordable housing isn’t available, so we’re providing that service to people,” Manuliak said.

The largest home they’ve build is only 320-square-feet but the little buildings can be connected to water and electrical outlets the same as a camper. Unlike seasonal vehicles, the tiny homes are made to withstand Canadian winters.

The problem is, the diminutive dwellings are built on wheels and Winnipeg, as well as other cities across Canada, considers them motorhomes and prohibit people from living in them full time.

“I think we’re behind the times,” Munn said.

“I think when we see other provinces — Ottawa does the lane houses, Calgary is looking into putting a mini home community — I mean these are all things that people are realizing that it’s not a fad anymore.”

Read more – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/miniature-homes-bylaws-1.3817466

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Elaine Walker

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