VANASTRA, ONT. -- An exploding real estate market, a lack of affordable housing and a rise in homelessness has prompted two Huron County contractors to start building 'tiny homes.'

“We’re sick of seeing local families have to move away because they get outbid by guys from the city coming in with cash, so local families have to move away and not raise their family here, like we’ve wanted to,” says the co-founder of Tiny Footprint Homes, Josh Batkin.

Batkin and his partner, co-founder Paul Arts, are in the process of turning old sea containers into tiny homes at a shop in Vanastra.

They see the burgeoning venture as an opportunity for those that can’t enter the current housing market in Huron County -- where houses have nearly doubled in price in the past two years -- to enter the housing market and stay in the area.

“The first main focus for us in doing this, was to help people who can’t afford a house of their own, and also to help resolve the homelessness issue going on in Huron County. We’re not doing this get rich, we’re doing this to help out as much as we can,” says Batkin.

“Single parents, single dudes, small families. A family of six probably can’t fit in a tiny home, but I’m hoping it’s more for those of a lower income. People that don’t make $100,000 a year, hoping this might get them a leg up,” says Arts.

With models starting at $40,000, Tiny Footprint Homes aims to see their creations meet a niche need, and maybe even start a 'tiny home' community on some of the vacant land in Vanastra.

“We’re really pushing for the community thing, but that’s a lot harder to get into, but I know there has been lots of approval for tiny homes going on people’s driveways, side yards, stuff like that. So, I’m hoping that will get the rental process started,” says Arts.

Batkin and Arts are working with Central Huron and Huron East to try and get their tiny home community idea off the ground. Until that time, they’ll be guinea pigs for the project, putting tiny homes on their properties, to showcase them to the community.

“I don’t see renting it out right away. It’s more or less going to be a show model for someone to come check it out, walk through, see if they like it, and go from there,” says Batkin.