Power of Tiny Houses

Community First
Source: Community First

As an affordable housing policy intern for a Community Development Financial Institution, I spend a lot of time reading reports about the need for affordable housing and the state of homelessness in this country. It really tugs at my heart to see that there are so many in this wealthy nation that are without. In my organization I hear many stories of families, single people, seniors who are on the edge in their ability to afford owning or renting a home, and sometimes assistance is needed.

Especially here in California, one of the most expensive places to live in the US, where a one bedroom apartment can run upwards of $1,200 a month. While there are many well paying jobs, including the plethora of tech jobs, there are still many jobs that do not sufficiently support an individual or family. We can say, well why don’t these people who can’t afford it just move somewhere else. Well sometimes they do, but at the same time, do we just want to live in a homogenous city where only the wealthy can afford to live? What about the elementary school teachers, health care aids, janitors of the tech office buildings, administrative employees, retail, and service employees?

At the same time, what about the homeless? There are many causes of homelessness such as mental health, addiction, and illness. These are tough issues that require money, time, and effective policies to address. Something that I think a lot about are alternative forms of housing. I see many, inexpensive solutions out there that just require innovative policy and leadership to implement. For example, tiny houses. They are inexpensive to build, require minimum amount of land, and can provide adequate shelter for homeless. Having a home is a first step to regaining dignity. Happily, I read an article about Community First who is creating a community of affordable, sustainable homes for the homeless. This is an amazing project and I look forward to following their progress.  Check them out and lets start thinking big about addressing the problem of need for affordable, safe, and decent housing.

3 thoughts on “Power of Tiny Houses

  1. I’m interested in contacting people in my community about the tiny home idea to help the homeless. Any tips on how to start? How do I find the key decision people in my community? What is the best way to contact them? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. T.J.

    • Hi TJ, thanks for your patience with my reply. Thank you so much for the comment and I am excited to hear you are interested in the tiny home idea. Depending on your community you may have a variety of options. Start with local non-profits in your community that work on homeless issues. Secondly, check to see if there are any Community Development Corporations or faith based organizations that are involved in the community. Usually many communities have a network of organizations working on housing issues. Lastly, speak with your local city council member to let them know you are a concerned citizen with potential solutions they can take action on. Hopefully these tips will start you on the path you are seeking.

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