The entrance to one of the tiny homes in Victoria’s Tiny Home Village. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

Victoria Tiny Home Village resident evicted for lighting small fire

No damage or injuries, but zero-tolerance rule stands

  • May. 18, 2021 12:00 a.m.

A resident of Victoria’s new Tiny Home Village temporary housing community was evicted Tuesday after lighting some papers on fire inside his home.

The 30-person village located in the Royal Athletic Park parking lot is made up of individual storage containers, where each resident has their own bed, storage and mini-fridge. Residents started moving in May 14.

This week, one of those residents was caught lighting a couple of papers on fire inside his garbage can, Our Place director of communications Grant McKenzie said. And, while there was no danger to him, his unit or other residents, Our Place has a zero-tolerance policy on lighting fires.

READ ALSO: North Park Tiny Home Village opens at Royal Athletic Park lot to 30 unhoused

When residents moved in they each had to sign a “good neighbour” agreement, promising they wouldn’t disrupt the surrounding neighbourhood.

“It’s all about the safety of the community and the safety of the residents,” McKenzie said. “In order for the other residents to feel safe and secure in their homes, we can’t have someone who deliberately sets a fire no matter how small it is.”

Sometimes, he said, people have learned behaviours where they refuse to adapt to any rules. In this case, McKenzie said, different types of supports are required than are available through Victoria’s current housing model.

Our Place would like to have greater control over assessing people and which shelter or temporary housing facility they think they’d be best suited for, McKenzie said. So far, placement has been determined primarily by B.C. Housing.

On Sunday, a resident of Victoria’s other newly opened shelter on Russell Street was arrested in connection with a suspicious structure fire on Saturday night. That person has also been evicted and the police file remains under investigation.

READ ALSO: Vic West shelter resident to be evicted following suspicious fire


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