$49K tiny houses could help supply affordable housing, says micro-home maker

The small homes being sold on Amazon can be “stitched” together to meet minimum size requirements, but you'll need to find the land

Western Investor
November 13, 2019

nomad tiny home-submitted-exterior
Nomad Micro Homes is selling 180-square-foot houses in a kit form. Photos submitted

A Vancouver company is selling tiny, pre-fabricated homes that can be “stitched together” to meet minimum size requirements in the city and help alleviate the affordable housing shortage, according to Ian Kent, founder and CEO of Nomad Micro Homes.

The small two-storey houses measure about 180 square feet each.

In City of Vancouver, where the housing affordability problem is most acute, zoning bylaw restricts the minimum size of a dwelling unit to 398 square feet. There are allowances for micro-suites of 320 square feet in specific areas of the city and as small as 250 square feet for social housing units in the troubled Downtown Eastside.

However, Nomad’s Cube units are modular components and two or three units could be joined to create larger living spaces, Kent said.

“They can be stitched together,” he said, adding that Nomad plans to introduce a larger version of Cube in 2020. 

The Cube homes are currently being sold on Amazon for $49,000.

Nomad Cube micro home living
The living/kitchen area of the Cube tiny home has a sleeping loft above. Photos submitted

Nomad sources materials and packages the homes in Vancouver. The homes are constructed of insulated steel panels and are flat-packed and assembled by the owner or by a contractor.

“It’s like IKEA furniture,” Kent explained.

The homes would require appliances, a heating system or hot water heater, which are not included, and also need plumbing and electrical hookups.

Land is not included. A typical residential building lot in Vancouver has an average price of more than $900,000. However, Kent envisions Cube homes being added as secondary laneway houses on existing single-family lots for rental income.

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