Project issues design challenge

The Tiny house project looks for support to move into the next stage

Tiny house design challenge team Chris Dranchuk (left)

Tiny house design challenge team Chris Dranchuk (left)

Following the launch of the Tiny Home Initiative Feb. 7, the First Nations Friendship Centre Society is promoting a design challenge for the tiny home raffle.

In the interest of providing low-cost housing for youth at risk, we are proposing the construction of a transportable tiny home to be raffled off as a fundraising initiative on behalf of the First Nations Friendship Centre (FNFC).

The project will raise the urgency of providing housing for those facing barriers. It is a precursor to the concept of developing a 20-unit tiny home community.

The FNFC envisions a small Vernon co-housing community that is made up of 20 tiny homes providing housing for youth ages 19 to 29 facing barriers to affordable housing, have low income and are at risk of being homeless.

The co-housing facility would feature a common kitchen and recreation area and be used to serve the common needs of the community, group meals and social sharing. This model for housing has transpired over many years in Scandinavian countries since the early ‘60s and is similar to the community heritage and principals of aboriginal colonies historically.

This vision is a continuation of the successful Kekuli Centre Apartments owned and operated by the FNFC over the past 12 years and focusing on at-risk youth facing barriers to acquiring affordable housing.

Vernon is facing a low-income housing crisis, a situation many other communities experience across Canada. The need facing the FNFC is to increase the focus on developing housing capacity for the marginalized demographic. This initiative will further the mandate of the society to satisfy low-income housing needs.

The 20-unit Kekuli complex  has, on average, received four to five requests bi-weekly from individuals facing housing crisis. A common phrase from young people asked about their current housing is, “I am couch surfing.”

Call of Interest

In order to raise awareness of the issue and the concept, FNFC is preparing a call of interest from the public to support the development and construction of one tiny home.

The FNFC is seeking interest from agencies, companies and individuals to donate the materials, funding or expertise needed to construct the tiny house. Preliminary discussions are now under way with a number of agencies and the community as a whole seems to be very supportive of the initiative. The single unit, once completed, would be raffled off for the market price of a tiny house, estimated to be between $30,000 and $50,000. The charitable funds would then be turned back into the development of the co-housing community strategy.

Design Challenge

In order to launch the initiative, the FNFC is preparing a design challenge to design a tiny home. The challenge is open to the community for any  interested individuals, carpenters and architects. The winner will be selected by a panel of architects and professional home builders, and receive a grand prize, and other prizes for runners up. Those donated in-kind, financial or material contributions and sponsorships, will be able to receive a tax-deductible receipt on request.

Your sponsorship and donation to support this initiative would be greatly appreciated. There will be news coverage of the initiative once finalized and before construction, as well as promotions for your company as we award the design challenge winner and participants  a number of valuable prizes. Deadline for submissions is April 1.

For all of the design specifications, contact Barry McDougall, youth programs manager of the Kekuli Centre Apartments at the First Nations Friendship Centre: 250-306-3275  or or see