Tiny Houses

@moffittjc (34467)
Gainesville, Florida
February 17, 2016 5:58pm CST
I was reading a great article today in my local newspaper about the possibility of tiny houses providing a solution to several issues in communities nationwide: affordable housing, sheltering the homeless, and urban density infill. However, the article stated that most zoning laws and city codes throughout the nation prevent tiny houses from being implemented as a solution. Proponents of tiny houses say that it is time to change the laws, codes and ordinances to start allowing the use of tiny houses. Tiny houses are small, affordable homes that are usually less than 1000 square feet. Most are modular, and can be constructed quickly and cheaply. The tiny house craze seems to be sweeping the nation now, and many people who have bought or built tiny houses have built them to be mobile (where they can tow them around like a trailer). I assume this is done this way currently because that is the only legal use of them at this time. What are your thoughts on tiny houses? Are they viable solutions to issues like affordable housing, homeless shelters, and urban infill?
18 people like this
19 responses
@BelleStarr (31111)
• Portland, Connecticut
18 Feb 16
I love tiny houses and many are much smaller than 1,000 sq. feet some as small as 100 square feet. I think I could live in about 400 sq feet comfortably. It is about time we got away from the mcmansion.
5 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I agree! It's time we all started downsizing. Let's all be honest...most people who live in McMansions or large houses really can't afford them to begin with, and are probably living above their means. It's no longer seen as derogatory to be seen in a smaller size house. I think in the future that's going to be the new norm.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (11147)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
While our house isn't a McMansion, now that the boys are gone my wife and I are wondering if downsizing for retirement in eight to ten years wouldn't be a good idea. Ultimately, we'd move into a mid-sized RV and spend our retirement traveling the US.
4 people like this
@BelleStarr (31111)
• Portland, Connecticut
18 Feb 16
@DWDavis That was our dream but when grandkids come along, it has a lot less appeal. lol
2 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30304)
• Momence, Illinois
18 Feb 16
And they are so cool. I have looked at some online. I think it's a great idea.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I like them too! The simplicity really attracts me to them. And the creative use of space is amazing!
3 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30304)
• Momence, Illinois
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc Yes how the space is used is brilliant. I guess it has to be.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
@fishtiger58 It's too bad we can't be that efficient with our space on our normal homes! Hmmm...sounds like a good weekend project to tackle! lol
2 people like this
@GrannyGee (1779)
• Louisburg, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
Oh my ... I feel that it is a perfect solution for the homeless ... just a tiny safespace for them to pull around with them ... to protect them at night, from the weather.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I think the tiny houses that are being proposed for the homeless aren't the kind you can move around. They're being proposed to be built as permanent housing. Because of their small size, they can fit many houses together on a small plot of land.
2 people like this
@GrannyGee (1779)
• Louisburg, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc Jeff, I don't think they are, either. I was hoping someone would come up with a 'tiny' design for the homeless ... something lightweight, can be pulled, pushed around like I've seen ... the weight of a shopping cart, maybe. I think about the homeless a lot ... so, I was thinking more how they could benefit from them. But, it is wonderful people can can live in tiny houses on a tiny plot of land. :)
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
@GrannyGee Gloria, that would be an amazing invention if someone could figure out how to make an even tinier, portable home specifically for the homeless. As you said, if it could be made in such a way that they could push it around like a shopping cart, I think the homeless would be very interested!
2 people like this
@T_gray (7898)
• Salina, Kansas
18 Feb 16
I watch the show on tv about tiny houses. I personally think it would be awesome. I saw a lady on there talking about how they would rather put less money into their house so they could enjoy other things in life. I personally like to travel. I wouldn't mind putting little money into a house and less material things, so I could have more money to travel. Never thought about it for the homeless and such. Not sure even the people looking for affordable housing would go for it. Even they are picky.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I would be interested in one for the same reasons you would...it would free up money for me to spend on other things, such as travel. I also think they'll be good to have for retirement, when seniors are on fixed incomes.
2 people like this
@T_gray (7898)
• Salina, Kansas
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc It's not for everyone though, that's for sure. It's a whole new way of living. I mean, imagine camping the rest of your life. I really think only 10% of the population would go for it (my guess)...but it is a growing fad.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
@T_gray I stay so active in my life that I am hardly ever home, so living the rest of my life in a tiny house wouldn't be a big deal for me. By the time I get home, I am usually so tired that I go straight to bed. It would be even easier to do something like that in a tiny house! lol
2 people like this
• United States
18 Feb 16
As a temporary solution, perhaps set up in empty parking lots of closed down malls or factories, this would help with the homeless problem. However, living in claustrophobic small houses can lead to psychologic problems. This may not really work long term.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, FEMA brought in all those trailers (essentially tiny houses) that they set up for thousands of people to provide temporary housing. They were meant to be short-term, but many people ended up living in them for a year or more. I wonder how everything turned out with that situation?
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc Have you ever heard an interview of someone who lives in a trailer park? They are rarely happy people.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Feb 16
@ElizabethWallace That is true! I can't say I've ever talked to a happy person from a tailer park.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (96813)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Feb 16
I think they are a great idea. Surely soon authorities will see the benefit in this type of accommodation.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
There has been a lot of discussion on the benefits of tiny houses, and governments are now coming to the table to be a part of those discussions. I can see the laws starting to change where cities, counties and states will slowly start to allow tiny houses as viable housing options for the public. The other issue (maybe I need to write a post about it), is that currently banks and mortgage lenders will not offer loans or financing for such low amounts of money. The banks also need to change the way they do business, just as the government needs to adapt their laws regarding tiny houses.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (96813)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc I think a post about it is a very good idea.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (11147)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
I do think tiny houses could be a solution to some of the problems you mention. I support the idea of tiny house villages that afford the homeless a place of their own while also giving them a community to be an active part of. It reminds me of KOA Kampground Kabins.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
OMG...it's been years since I've seen those KOA Kampground Kabins! Those were the coolest things! I wonder how many KOA's still have them? I haven't seen any at any KOA's in Florida.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (11147)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc The KOA I frequently kamp at down on the river still has the kabins and now lodges. A few of them around NC have had them. I've never stayed in one of the cabins but I do like staying at KOA.
2 people like this
@Teep11 (6445)
• United States
18 Feb 16
I really like tiny homes and wouldn't mind one but it wouldn't be a permanent residence. I think it would be good for those who are on strict budgets and for the homeless.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I would think local government would pursue approval of, and use of, tiny houses as an affordable option for those living on welfare or in poverty. It is an easy solution to the housing crisis many people face, but unfortunately the laws, codes and ordinances are written in such a way as to discourage or prevent their use. Governments need to re-think how they do business with their citizens.
18 Feb 16
I would be far happier in a tiny house than a ginormous one. Except, where would I store all my clutter and how do I ensure I have enough personal space to keep my wellbeing happy?!
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
If you get rid of all your clutter, that would solve the first problem! And for the second issue, I don't know the answer too! I think that's the reason more people don't have an interest in tiny houses, because it minimizes their personal space. And what about people who are claustrophobic?
1 person likes this
18 Feb 16
@moffittjc *gasp* Get rid of my clutter?! Noooo! I suppose I could buy a second tiny house for the clutter, and I could also use it to hide in when I need my own space. :)
2 people like this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
@Poppylicious There you go! You're already starting a new trend...the trend of buying and owning multiple tiny houses! I love it!
1 person likes this
@VivaLaDani13 (16103)
• Perth, Australia
16 Mar 16
I think it's a great idea. My boyfriend was in this competition late last year where you had to design houses / apartments that would benefit the community and I know this is biased but he did a great job and I wish he could have won but he didn't. ( he is at university at the moment learning town planning and he was sort of an architect, long story but he does design great houses etc ). Anyway, he used those shipment containers to make them into little houses and he did an excellent job making it look like a lovely place to live and call home. I wish I still had the photo of his design but it was really good. Was beautiful and affordable.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Mar 16
Here in the US we're starting to see more and more people create housing out of those shipping containers. They are actually very cheap to purchase, are very sturdy and strong, and make great rooms! You connect a few of those together and you can create a very nice house! Or, in the case of affordable housing, or tiny housing, you can make one shipping container into its own house.
1 person likes this
@Raine38 (8987)
• United States
18 Feb 16
I think tiny houses are immediate solutions for housing problems for students. But with my lifestyle, I do not think that it is for me. While I am not a pack rat by all means, I have stuff that will not fit in a tiny house. There are many stuff that have sentimental value to me and I will be deeply saddened if I cant have them with me.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
Obviously, this won't be a solution for the masses. There will be people who will always want or need larger houses, and there will also be people who can get by with smaller houses. I just think tiny houses offers another viable option to include in the housing mix.
@andriaperry (30918)
• Anniston, Alabama
18 Feb 16
I would love to make a small tiny house community and have it solar powered with well water, I sen this on the news in Destin? I think. Anywas the beautification board wanted them gone because to many homeless people were living there :) Yes that is what they stupid lady said.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
They have a tiny house community in Destin? Hmmm...maybe I need to take a road trip!
1 person likes this
@much2say (34540)
• United States
18 Feb 16
I've seem some photos of some really super cute tiny houses - beautiful and functional! We have a small house, but it's not "tiny" in the way these houses are. As adorable as they are, I know that I'm a pack rat, so I don't see all my stuff being organized too well in that size of a house . Sometimes I think there are too many laws and such that just get in the way of allowing people to "live".
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (26913)
• United States
22 Feb 16
These tiny houses would be perfect if they were able to be run on free energy. Meaning zero point energy. Nicola Tesla's invention. Then they can be fully self sustaining.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
22 Feb 16
I imagine the technology is there to provide free energy, if we could just get the government and the construction industry to embrace the technology.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (26913)
• United States
22 Feb 16
@moffittjc We need them to free it up for the population. She shouldn't even have to pay for energy then. That would save me tons of money.
@LoriAMoore (9663)
• United States
18 Feb 16
We have a few here, but the problem is they're as expensive as a regular house. I don't get it.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Feb 16
Yes, that doesn't make much sense! That kind of defeats the purpose of them being smaller!
@paigea (21020)
• Canada
18 Feb 16
There should be a place in our zoning for tiny houses. They are a great solution for some. My house is too big, but it is nice when visitors come.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Feb 16
I think over the next couple of years we'll see all the zoning laws start to change to accommodate tiny houses. Governments are often slow to adapt to innovation.
1 person likes this
@cherriefic (4148)
• Baguio, Philippines
18 Feb 16
Tiny houses can be a good solution for people who are alone or just some couples who are just starting out to live together. Better than to buy a huge house right away.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Feb 16
Yes, they obviously wouldn't work as well as the family grows larger. But it could be a good starting point for a newly-married couple. Or, like you said, it could be good for someone who lives alone.
@JESSY3236 (4885)
• United States
18 Feb 16
I doubt I would live in one. Chris grew up and still lives (for now) in a big house. Plus I doubt there would enough for the both of us.
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
19 Feb 16
Obviously tiny houses are not for everyone. But it could be one more piece of the puzzle in our attempts to solve homelessness and affordable housing.
@Platespinner (18072)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
18 Feb 16
I lived in the equivalent of a tool shed when I was a college student...so I can say that I did the tiny house thing before it was cool. Personally kind of like the small house movement--the McMansions that are so popular strike me as being both ostentatious and an inefficient use of space (but that just might be sour grapes because we never felt we were in a position to afford a huge house).
@moffittjc (34467)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Feb 16
I'm right there with you Joanne! When I was in college I lived in a tiny 1-bedroom studio. Must have been less than 600 square feet in size. That place was tiny, but I loved it!