Tiny Homes: How Seniors Are Benefiting From the Minimalistic Housing Trend

A tiny house with a large glass front window that the kitchen can be seen through.

Photo: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

The tiny homes that have become popular among minimalists and first-time home buyers looking to enter an increasingly expensive housing market have also started to attract a number of older adults looking to downsize in their retirement years.

These tiny homes, which range in size from around 100 to 600 square feet, offer an appealing alternative to expensive assisted living, not to mention less home maintenance for those living alone.

According to Country Living the price of a tiny house usually fall between $30,000 and $60, 000.

Companies like NextDoor Housing, Elder Cottages and Coach Homes have taken advantage of the growing senior market, designing tiny homes that feature senior-friendly components like low cupboards and countertops and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.

But it’s not all about maintaining independence. Ottawa-based Coach Homes construct homes for seniors that are installed directly on the property of their loved ones.

“Social interaction with family is really important,” Louise Desjardins, president of Coach Homes told CBC. “And a lot of seniors who go into retirement homes feel that isolation.”

The company has also partnered with Nurse on Board, who provide clients dwelling in the homes access to a registered nurse to co-ordinate their care, which includes in-home physiotherapy, foot care and dental hygiene.

The company sells and leases four tiny home designs ranging in size from 468 to 634 square feet, which come with extra-wide doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, accessible showers and apartment-sized appliances.

According to the CBC, the 468-square-foot model can be leased for $2, 500 a month, which includes the medical services as well.

Also among those downgrading to tiny homes are seniors who simply don’t need as much space anymore. Retired music teacher Adele Smith, who moved from her 1, 300-square-foot townhouse to a $65, 000, 140-square-foot tiny home, says she was only using a minimal amount of space in her previous house after her daughter left.

“I had my little corner of the living room where I’d watch TV, and I’d use the bathroom and my bedroom and the kitchen,” she told Today Home. “And I’m like, I’m just storing crap in this house. I’m not even using this stuff.”

“It fits me to a T,” she told Today referring to her new digs. “I am really very content.”