Especially in weather like this winter’s, tiny houses are becoming a more attractive solution to low income housing. Tents are good. Houses are better. They may also inspire opportunities for the rest of us.
The Low Income Housing Institute’s Tiny House Village on 1419 22nd Avenue has been open for a year now. It joins the Ballard encampment, which also has tiny houses, as well as Othello Village. Both of them have been open since 2015. According to Crosscut,
“The Georgetown and Licton Springs sites will open in early 2017, and both are planned with tiny houses instead of tents.“
The idea is evidently gaining popularity, even as tiny houses continue to live in a regulatory quandary. Convention declares that bigger is better and that tiny is dismissive. Housing codes frequently call out minimum size constraints based on that notion.
Two disparate communities are seeing them in another light.
The homeless and low income communities know that meeting the basic necessities can feel luxurious, especially considering the options. Being able to lock a door, keep warm and dry, and decorate something more substantial than a tent wall may be enough to define a home.
The minimalist and downsizing communities are enjoying the ability to free up time and money by living smaller, much smaller, regardless of income or wealth. How big a house do you need if you spend most of your time looking at a computer screen or dining out?
For whatever reason, as long as they are built to be under 120 square feet they slip under the building codes. Non-profits appreciate them because they can be built for only a few thousand dollars. Wealthier owners appreciate them because they can make every surface special for a lot less money.
The tiny house communities being developed by the Low Income Housing Institute and Nickelsville are helping homeless people survive their situation. Homelessness continues to claim dozens every year. The tiny house communities may also be the breakthrough solution for many in the area who aren’t homeless, but find Seattle appealing but otherwise unaffordable. Seattle may become known for its hot real estate market, mega-mansions, and tiny homes, too.