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The Tiny House movement seeks to teach people how to live comfortably in less space. Instead of 10,000 square foot mansions, Tiny Houses are usually between 100 and 400 square feet. The objective is not only to teach people how to live a more sustainable lifestyle but also allow them to spend far less of their monthly income of shelter costs.

Groups in Madison, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon are actively using Tiny House concepts as part of a larger bid to provide housing for the homeless and those with low incomes.


Madison Tiny House Village for the Homeless

In Wisconsin, Occupy Madison, has built nine tiny houses, a day resource center, laundry facilities and a community gardening space in the village with help from numerous community groups, The 96 square foot homes are made from reclaimed and recycled materials and include a bed, a toilet, propane heat and solar panels for electricity. Each building costs around $5,000 to build and the money was raised with private donations.

“Rather than taking people form the streets and putting them in a building, we thought we could work together to create our own structures,” says Luca Clement of Occupy Madison. “We don’t give houses to homeless people, we enable people to build their own houses to create their own futures.” The village is located on county owned land leased for $1 a year to the nonprofit organization that developed it.


25 Inspiring Tiny Homes for Portland

In Portland, Oregon, the city is nearing approval for an entire Tiny House community. The project will provide modern, efficient homes for people who earn less than $15,000 a year as well as the homeless population. Backed by Multnomah County, the non-profit organization Micro Community Concepts has teamed up with TechDwell to design homes that will help financially struggling Portland residents get back on their feet.

With the help of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, the initiative will establish a neighborhood of 25 TechDwell-designed homes, each with its own small yard  The design features slanting roofs with a protective overhang for the front patio as well as double glass doors and windows along the roof line to maximize sunlight. Each home will have 192 square feet of living space and cost just $250-$350 a month to rent for qualified candidates.

There will be a laundry facility in the Tiny House community as well as other amenities such as job training programs and drug counseling available. Affordable homes will give people a private place to live as well as a sense of personal integrity and a chance to become a homeowner. Mayor Hales plans to have the Tiny House community in operation by February, 2015.


Sources | Photos: Tiny House Blog and Inhabitat.