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New Penticton business has an affordable housing solution

Sitka Concept principals Martin Readman, let, and Annie Jomphe. The couple have brought their business and their family to Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

PENTICTON - A new Penticton business hopes to carve a local niche for itself and provide a solution to some of the region’s housing issues.

Sitka Concept Inc. specialize in the restoration of old Airstream trailers and the construction of tiny houses.

Martin Readman and Annie Jomphe are life and company partners who have been together since they were young adults. Over the years they’ve been involved in the renovation of 10 properties, in addition to raising a family and, most recently, spending two years sailing the Caribbean on their own sailing yacht.

They like what Penticton has to offer in terms of being between the lakes, and having a wealth of activities right outside the door. Jomphe said the family of five moved to Penticton six weeks ago and is looking forward to ski season.

Sitka advertises their tiny houses as ideal for property owners looking for additional revenue, for developers looking to promote “tiny” living, or as an alternative housing stock for municipalities facing housing issues. The tiny houses can be built using traditional means, put on wheels, or made out of a shipping container or school bus.

A sketch of Sitka Concept's single bedroom, 192 square foot portable tiny house created for young couples and  known as
A sketch of Sitka Concept's single bedroom, 192 square foot portable tiny house created for young couples and known as "Blue Velvet."
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Jomphe says she will be consulting the new mayor and council regarding appropriateness of Sitka’s houses.

“Housing is very hard to find, if you’re new here, there is nothing available. Hopefully these will address that issue,” she says.

A maximum of 1,000 square feet generally defines the size of a tiny house, although Jomphe says 1,000 square feet would constitute a pretty big tiny house.

“Generally, for a family or couple to be comfortable year round, I would suggest something between 400 and 600 square feet, and that is very liveable,” she says, adding 200 square foot and below would constitute a "micro house.”

Jomphe says she hopes Sitka will find markets for the tiny houses throughout the Thompson and Okanagan valleys.

The couple’s other specialty lies in the refurbishing of travel trailers in general, and the venerable Airstream models in particular. Jomphe says the company is in the process of finishing the restoration of a 1976 Airstream that was well weathered outside and well used inside.

“We gutted it, completely redesigned it and restored the exterior to vintage brand new,” she says.

Trailer customers come from all over North America with many from the United States, Jomphe says.

For more information on Sitka Concept Inc. check out their website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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