Following a story MHProNews posted Oct. 22, 2013 entitled Will Texans take to Tiny Homes, a recent story about small homes on BillMoyers.com, asked if respondents could live in a tiny home, drew a series of responses.
Gordon Billingsley said he lived in a 920 square-foot passive solar home and his heating bill for the entire winter was $98.
Liane Allen lives in a 336 square-foot house. “We raised two kids here. Having no mortgage, minimal heating costs, minimal electricity use and very low property taxes made it possible to weather the layoffs that have hit us over the last 15 years, otherwise, we’d have lost everything,” she added.
From 1973 to 2007 the average size of an American home rose from 1,660 square feet to 2,521 square feet, over three times the size of the Long Island homes called Levittown following WWII in 1947, considered the beginning of suburban America. However, as family size shrank during those 34 years, during that same period incomes for the 90 percent of lowest wage earners also fell.
Amnesty International said in 2011 there were 3.5 million homeless people and 18.5 million vacant, often blighted, homes. Many of the dwellings resulted from foreclosure, are now uninhabitable, and in large cities across the land they will be demolished and replaced with parks and community gardens. Why not replace them with affordable housing?
As MHProNews reported Aug. 30, 2013, a tiny home was not permitted to be sited in a manufactured housing community (MHC) because it does not meet HUD Code regulations, but Brian Levy drew his inspiration for his Minim House from a community of tiny homes, not unlike an MHC. “Quote-unquote trailer parks — they’re really called manufactured housing communities — are fantastic in a lot of ways,” he said. “They’re affordable, they’re relatively green… there’s a great sense of parity — everyone kind of has more or less the same size structure and a nice sense of community, from what I’ve found. How can you have a cool, kind of ennobling place that also happens to be full of micro-dwellings?” Manufactured homes are similar in price to tiny homes in many instances, and can serve the same purpose—house the homeless who populate the larger cities. ##
(Photo credit: BillMoyers.com/Tumbleweed Tiny Homes)