Could a Simple Shelter be home for those who struggle with housing costs?

The average American spends 30% of their income on housing needs. For many American’s it can be a struggle to find affordable housing. Micro housing (AKA simple shelters, tiny homes, etc.) may be able to fill the need for many Americans wanting to find a place to call home. By building a smaller structure, material and labor costs are cut significantly. Using the space efficiently and intentionally provides a fully functional home.

A proposed urban micro housing development

In St. Paul, Minnesota, the non-profit Eastside Neighborhood Development Company (ESNDC) has partnered with local architects and consultants to spearhead a unique urban development. On a 1.5 acre site near Payne and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul, a proposal for 30-40 micro homes may be under construction as soon as Spring of 2018. The proposed homes will be of various sizes and designs and will be subsidized, affordable housing.

Creating a new kind of urban housing development includes a re-zoning process. ESNDC and its team are currently working to draft a small home cluster ordinance in St. Paul. The site itself warrants surveys and testing since the East Side of St. Paul is mostly a riverbed and presents substantial storm water issues.

Challenges aside, the team is moving forward and plans to have the first design concept ready in fall of 2016.

Tiny homes shelter those who are homeless

In Seattle, WA, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) has created three encampments with tiny houses that are insulated and heated. They are providing shelter for those who were living on the streets. By partnering with local churches and organizations, they are building affordable, beautiful tiny homes on properties that are staffed, safe, and provide access to meals and transportation.

Just keep it simple!

Small, affordable shelters can provide a home for someone who is without this basic need. Keeping it small helps to keep it affordable and gives access to more people.