So, you’ve been evicted from your home.
Maybe you didn’t pay your rent. Perhaps you had one too many parties.
Those things are possible, but it’s more likely that your tenancy has drawn to a close because the house you’re currently residing in, your home, has been sold during one of the largest housing market increases in the west coast of British Columbia in years, and you now have to make your way out.
Here you are. You’ve been given your two-month notice (one of which is free, by the way) and you now need to find a place to live.
No problem, right?
You turn to local ad websites like Craigslist and Kijiji. You search for similar homes to the ones that you’re currently in and are absolutely stunned by the results that come up in your search. With the increase in housing prices comes the increase in rental prices. Fair. Unfortunately, however, those $1300 2-bedroom basement suites aren’t as easy to rent as one would think.
You e-mail each ad once, twice, three times before you get a reply saying that the suite has been rented. You check for new ads numerous times a day and contact homeowners minutes after they post a new listing. You race to home showings along the side of 20 other candidates all hoping for the same opportunity at finding a home. You get told that your family size isn’t conducive to you being the top candidate; that the three-bedroom home that’s for rent is going to go to a nice couple with no children.
You have three weeks to find a home before you’ll have to load all of your belongings into a storage locker and begin couch-surfing. That was your life when you were 19; not when you’re 30 with four kids.
By some miracle, you find a place two weeks before your homeless fate was sealed. It’s not everything you imagined for your family, but it’s a roof over your head and a place to call your own.
My family and I got lucky.
We are one of the families in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia that isn’t out camping during the winter months because we can’t afford/can’t find a home to live in. There’s a housing crisis in our province. Families are being forced from their homes and are unable to obtain a new one. They’re either having to couch-surf, stay with family, pay rental prices that are above their means, camp out, or leave their communities.
This rental crisis, in my opinion, is doubling as a health crisis.
The stress that I personally felt while trying to find a home for my family was insurmountable. I constantly told my children that everything was going to be okay, but I never really knew for sure.
We considered having to leave our community to move to a place that was more affordable and had a higher vacancy rate. This thought was our last resort. Moving away from our community meant moving from our families and friends. It meant moving away from our support structure. The foundation that we have in our current community is invaluable. It’s helped me alone get through some very difficult times and the idea of leaving them behind was crushing.
Our family has built a life here and we didn’t want to HAVE to leave.
Fortunately, we don’t have to. Thanks to prayers and positive energy from our friends and family we managed to get ourselves a beautiful home to live in. It’s a “quaint home” (that’s my positive spin on the word “tiny home”) and will definitely pose some challenges. It’ll also force us to come up with some creative ways to organize, downsize our stuff, and spend more time outdoors. We’ll be living in close quarters but I can’t imagine it’ll be all that bad.
There are 6 of us living in a space about 900 sq ft. I’ve asked around in the “tiny home” community and apparently, given the number of people in our family, our living space is considered a tiny home. It’s not unachievable (plus, we don’t really have an option!!). We’re working to make the situation as positive as possible, and already very much see the potential for a small space to offer us a big, positive shift in the way we live. It’s a tiny home, but it’s likely to make a massive impact on our lifestyle!
Stay tuned for our adventures in this “tiny home”!
P.S. I promised the kids they could be part of this project of capturing life in a tiny home. That means they’ll get their hands on the camera. This is gonna be cute;)
Check out the YouTube video of our tiny home here: