Local developer raising money to build shipping container tiny homes for the homeless 


At a construction site in Victoria, a shipping container may soon be a potential tool for the homeless crisis.

Local developer Aryze and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness are trying to raise 500,000 dollars to build a temporary tiny home village.

“[The container] houses our safety office and our project management office,” said Luke Mari from Aryze Developments.

“Reading the narrative in the news, and the kind of frustration in the community about tents in parks, we thought we can contribute to this with an idea to house people.”

The company says the structure was easy and cheap to build. Their concept lays out 30 160 square foot containers.

Each meets fire and safety standards and comes with amenities like a heater, bed, hot plate, and fridge. There are also shared bathroom and shower facilitates they are working on creating.

Aryze has donated the design and has already secured a supplier for the containers.

The temporary units will house those who are waiting for more permanent housing.

Aryze hopes it will help the province in its efforts to get people off the street during the pandemic, saying that container homes are cheaper than building wooden structures or securing motel and hotel rooms.

“We can get the cost down to $12,500 per home, which is just unbelievable,” he said. “We can build a home a day, which is really where we just can exceed any other program out there.”

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness says they are a great solution that can and should be scaled up in the future.

“This is huge, this is going to provide everything people have been asking for,” said Janine Theobald, from the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. “This will provide the stability, the ability to stay dry, the ability for some privacy.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who is also a co-chair for the coalition, supports the solution and says it could be a great fit for the capital.

“It’s amazing to see the home building industry to step up to raise money to build homes for people who don’t have them,” she said.

“It may be in the city of Victoria, it may not be in the city of Victoria . . . council has already voted to ask staff to support this project should it happen here.”

If the funding comes through construction on the village could start early next year.

The fundraiser can be found here.

Artist rendering of a planned housing development.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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