I don't want to knock the City of Vancouver's recent work to build modular mobile housing for people at risk of homelessness — but this article illustrates how we might have missed the mark with that particular project.
Vancouver's units —proper mobile homes, prebuilt in the Okanagan— to be assembled at Main and Terminal and opened in a few months each cost $87,500 (40 units at $3.5m. In Seattle, these tiny house villages are being built at a cost of $2,200 each, employing volunteer labour and goodwill.
Seattle's is a model similar to Portland's Dignity Village, which I visited in 2014 and advocated for as a possible solution here. Volunteer labour and faith based groups played a huge role in helping to build these temporary intentional communities, and the results were profound: once they had temporary housing, the average resident was able to find stable permanent housing within 6 months.
I still feel strongly that this is a solution that we can make work here, we have the people and resources, and an amazing tiny house building community that could help steward such a process.
Another great example from Seattle!