Are Tiny Houses the Key to Fighting Homelessness?
February 24, 2014
by Erika Lundahl
This post first appeared in Yes! Magazine.
An architect’s rendering of Quixote Village in Olympia, Wash. Image courtesy of Panza.
On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, NY, outside of Ithaca.
On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building.
The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that’s beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike.
“It’s certainly something that we would encourage other communities to take a look at,” says Lee Jones at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.