UCPR considers cabin rentals, tiny homes

Par Raymond Berthiaume
UCPR considers cabin rentals, tiny homes

During the committee of the whole meeting on March 8, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell council (UCPR) reviewed two projects from Cabinscape.

The first was a promotional video for the company’s main venture, which is renting land from municipalities to build and rent out vacation cabins. The second was Project Sinkhouse, an affordable housing program requested by Lanark County in which the company built two tiny homes that were added to the stock of affordable housing in Perth.

The projects were brought to council’s attention by UCPR Chief Administrator Stéphane Parisien. He said that they could be interesting opportunities for the UCPR or municipalities to explore, although he noted that the cabin rentals required beautiful, natural, and untouched surroundings.

Mayor Mario Zanth of Clarence-Rockland commented that Larose Forest might benefit from such an arrangement, although he would like to see more of the inside of the cabins before deciding.

As for Project Sinkhouse, it addresses the greatest demand for affordable housing, which is non-senior single units. Most affordable housing is geared towards families, but Lanark County officials want to use the tiny homes to provide permanent housing for the homeless. Lanark County planned to offer the houses at rent-geared-to-income rates as low as $109 per month. There are no utility costs because the houses are solar-powered, meaning the hookup needed is for water.

UCPR Social Services Director Sylvie Millette, who helped Parisien research the company, said that the application process is “very onerous”. She claimed that Lanark County waited for over a year to secure a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Green Municipal Fund, which paid for 80 per cent of the total project cost of $549,402. She recommended that the UCPR wait for the current pilot project in Lanark County to finish so that council can review results of the project and decide based upon those results.

More information will be sought about Cabinscape and Project Sinkhouse.

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