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Old 10-14-2015, 01:28 PM   #21
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After watching some TV about Tiny Houses (I have no first hand experience with them), it seems that most of these places are simple reinvented mobile homes / trailers built in a way to be more acceptable to hipsters.

How am I wrong?
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:46 PM   #22
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The materials and finishes are way above typical mobile homes/trailers. Think granite and solid wood, and very high quality (and in some cases, custom) appliances.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
Tiny houses are really taking off, it seems for solving homeless issues

"There are many opportunities for you to pave the way home for our homeless brothers and sisters in need. Mobile Loaves & Fishes invites you to place your name on a homesite at the Community First! Village, or support a builder in Build Your Neighbor a Home initiative."


http://mlf.org/community-first/
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Thanks for the link. Helping support a project like this is on my bucket list. We're a rich nation - no one should be homeless when a tiny houses can be built so relatively cheaply.
Unfortunately, from what I understand, being homeless has little/nothing to do with a home for many of the homeless. Many homeless people have issues (mental health, addictions, etc). Most of them could not maintain a home if you gave it to them. They need a job, they need to be able to find and keep a job, and take care of themselves.

Low cost homes might help some on the edges, but aren't there housing subsidies for those types?

Here's a breakdown I found:

Factors contributing to Homelessness | Homeless Resource Network



Hard to say, but even some of the top causes "Loss of Job", "Jail","Eviction", "Family Problems", "Domestic Violence", "Prison", and a few others might actually be the side effects of mental issues, addictions, and/or just not being able to be responsible. And giving someone a home, or offering a low cost home is unlikely to fix that.


-ERD50
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:25 PM   #24
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Unfortunately, from what I understand, being homeless has little/nothing to do with a home for many of the homeless. Many homeless people have issues (mental health, addictions, etc). Most of them could not maintain a home if you gave it to them. They need a job, they need to be able to find and keep a job, and take care of themselves.

Low cost homes might help some on the edges, but aren't there housing subsidies for those types?

-ERD50
Certainly one solution does not fit all. But one does what they can. Look what Salt Lake City did. http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/gov-how-salt-lake-city-licked-veteran-homelessness.html
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:40 PM   #25
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We had two tiny houses moved into my mountain community this summer. They are for summer homes/weekend getaways. I have toured both and they are quite nice. They are made to be placed on a lot and stay there. The wheels only get them to the lot. Both were 399 sq ft. One was about 12 feet wide and the other 14 feet wide. Both were made by the same manufacturer and each had a loft area that was between 4 and 5 feet high. Nice for the grand kids. That is something you cannot do in a conventional home.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:46 PM   #26
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I just don't get the tiny home deal. There are all kinds of RV's that have been engineered for years that are safer to tow than these top heavy trailers. As for better materials-have you been in an RV lately? My fifth wheel has some pretty good materials. Most are now coming with residential refrigerators if desired. There's no way I would live in or travel in a tiny home-RV, yes.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:53 PM   #27
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Unfortunately, from what I understand, being homeless has little/nothing to do with a home for many of the homeless.
Homelessness is usually not a single issue, but the Salt Lake city project started with housing first and has been a success. This should be a project people can agree on from any end of the political spectrum because it helps the homeless and actually saves tax dollars by spending the money more efficiently, focusing on long term solutions and lowering crime rates.

From an SF Gate article:

"This city has all but ended chronic homelessness, and San Francisco could learn a lot from how that happened.

What Salt Lake City did was simple: It created attractive housing that street people actually longed to live in, provided the new residents with plenty of on-site counseling to help them with problems such as drug abuse and unemployment, and put one person in charge who could get government and nonprofit agencies to work together.

The result is that in the decade since Salt Lake and San Francisco launched campaigns to end chronic homelessness, Salt Lake's hard-core street population shrank so drastically it is expected to be statistically gone by next year - but San Francisco still struggles mightily. And Salt Lake did this by spending $20 million a year in a million-resident metropolitan area. San Francisco spends $165 million."

Salt Lake City a model for S.F. on homeless solutions - SFGate
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:19 PM   #28
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daylate, I have read a lot about their success with reducing homelessness in Utah. Housing First is a really fascinating concept.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:02 PM   #29
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I just don't get the tiny home deal. There are all kinds of RV's that have been engineered for years that are safer to tow than these top heavy trailers. As for better materials-have you been in an RV lately? My fifth wheel has some pretty good materials. Most are now coming with residential refrigerators if desired. There's no way I would live in or travel in a tiny home-RV, yes.
Not all tiny homes are built to be towed for travel. Many are built on wheels so that they can bypass building codes or city ordinances that apply to homes with a foundation.

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The materials and finishes are way above typical mobile homes/trailers. Think granite and solid wood, and very high quality (and in some cases, custom) appliances.
Yes, tiny homes usually have better construction and insulation than RVs. You would not be able to afford to heat an RV with walls of 1" thickness in the winter.

Of course that makes them heavier. And just because some of them have wheels does not mean that they are meant as travel trailers.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:15 AM   #30
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The tiny home movement reminds me a bit of the Lustron (mail order) home of yester-year. My Dad lived in one for many years while living in North Carolina. There were two of them in town and they are both still standing. We visited last year and one of them is still in pretty good shape. To me, that's impressive for a house that built in a factory!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lustron_house
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:44 AM   #31
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We often read and post here articles these days on how many soon to be retirees will be living on Social Security alone. This is going to mean a need for low cost housing options, maybe tiny houses, factory built housing or even both - factory built tiny houses.

I keep thinking lately about an article I've posted before by Keynes writing in the 1930s, predicting in his future (our present time) the "economic problem" will be solved through technical advances (man's basic need for adequate food and shelter). I think he was right. We just need to apply his logic and make the baseline standard of living available to more low income households, the currently homeless and our future retirees, some of whom who may need to survive on very low household incomes. Compared to most of human history, an upscale tiny house, bus pass for transportation, Medicaid / Medicare and even food from the 99 cent store would provide maybe not a lavish but surely adequate and humane baseline lifestyle at a relatively low cost to society as a whole.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #32
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We're about to live for the next 4 months in our new 400 sq ft. Fifth wheel.

We're coming from a 2200 sq. ft. house (which we are not selling) so it will be an interesting experiment in how well we do in such a small space.

Kudos to those who can live in something that small permanently.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:52 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by FlyBoy5 View Post
The tiny home movement reminds me a bit of the Lustron (mail order) home of yester-year. My Dad lived in one for many years while living in North Carolina. There were two of them in town and they are both still standing. We visited last year and one of them is still in pretty good shape. To me, that's impressive for a house that built in a factory!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lustron_house
Never heard of them--how cool to read the link! Kinda bummed that they were giving them away at Quantico in 2006, and only one person applied. Dang, I'd have wanted one! Thanks for this!
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:50 PM   #34
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I guess I'm confused. In terms of 'tiny homes' for the homeless, or poor, or people with marginal income (people on just SS was mentioned), what does a 'tiny home' have over a condo/apartment?

OK, you don't share walls, so maybe more privacy. But that comes with needing a bit more land, maintenance, unexpected repair costs, etc. That may not be a good trade-off for people with marginal income.

And a condo/apt is likely to be more environmental, if that's a concern.

If someone wants a well designed, small house, fine. I'm just not getting it as any kind of solution for marginal income people.

-ERD50
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:14 PM   #35
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I guess I'm confused. In terms of 'tiny homes' for the homeless, or poor, or people with marginal income (people on just SS was mentioned), what does a 'tiny home' have over a condo/apartment?

OK, you don't share walls, so maybe more privacy. But that comes with needing a bit more land, maintenance, unexpected repair costs, etc. That may not be a good trade-off for people with marginal income.

And a condo/apt is likely to be more environmental, if that's a concern.

If someone wants a well designed, small house, fine. I'm just not getting it as any kind of solution for marginal income people.

-ERD50
I could build a tiny house and put it in my backyard like the Berkeley urban planner but I don't have the skills, land or permits to put a condominium complex there. Some people seem to be able to build tiny houses for $15K or less:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/22...y-house?page=0

Apartments and condo can be solutions for low income housing as well - like cube housing in London.

There are success stories for various types of affordable housing but the basic idea that seems to be having success is housing first. It is hard to hold a job, eat healthy food, or not be sick all the time when you are living on a park bench. In locations where land is cheap or there are spaces available but not big enough for apartment buildings then tiny houses might be a good option. I'm no expert on the subject, but I've seen the youtube videos where people build solar cabins for $2K and wonder why we can't provide every household in the U.S. with simple, basic housing at least on that level.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:20 PM   #36
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The opportunity for a community to build tiny homes for homeless folks is kinda like the premise of Habitat for Humanity. Participating in the process is quite valuable for all parties.
Whereas an apartment building is a major project, and isn't so much a community effort.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:19 PM   #37
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I guess I'm confused. In terms of 'tiny homes' for the homeless, or poor, or people with marginal income (people on just SS was mentioned), what does a 'tiny home' have over a condo/apartment? ...
-ERD50
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I could build a tiny house and put it in my backyard like the Berkeley urban planner but I don't have the skills, land or permits to put a condominium complex there. ...
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The opportunity for a community to build tiny homes for homeless folks is kinda like the premise of Habitat for Humanity. Participating in the process is quite valuable for all parties.
Whereas an apartment building is a major project, and isn't so much a community effort.
OK, but being able to provide some lower cost housing by allowing a 'tiny home' in addition to a SFH on a lot in CA (generally a very high COL area), or
the kind of thing Habitat for Humanity does, is really only applicable to a pretty small slice of the homeless population (and I applaud efforts to help even a small slice).

It's just that I got the impression from some earlier posts, that this was a major solution for homeless in general. That just seems like hyperbole to me.

-ERD50
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:38 PM   #38
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OK, but being able to provide some lower cost housing by allowing a 'tiny home' in addition to a SFH on a lot in CA (generally a very high COL area), or
the kind of thing Habitat for Humanity does, is really only applicable to a pretty small slice of the homeless population (and I applaud efforts to help even a small slice).

It's just that I got the impression from some earlier posts, that this was a major solution for homeless in general. That just seems like hyperbole to me.

-ERD50
A question how does the cost of a new tiny house compare with the cost of a trailer of about the same square footage. I do recognize that lots of areas are seriously zoned against trailers and tiny homes do fit under the zoning in terms of construction but may come up against minimum square footage rules (I do know for deed restrictions they would come up against the 1 main structure and minimum size rules) one zoning ordinance I checked sussts 3000 to 5000 sq foot lots.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:05 PM   #39
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OK, but being able to provide some lower cost housing by allowing a 'tiny home' in addition to a SFH on a lot in CA (generally a very high COL area), or
the kind of thing Habitat for Humanity does, is really only applicable to a pretty small slice of the homeless population (and I applaud efforts to help even a small slice).

It's just that I got the impression from some earlier posts, that this was a major solution for homeless in general. That just seems like hyperbole to me.

-ERD50
The Salt Lake City project didn't use tiny houses as far as I know. I think they mainly used apartments:

The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness | Mother Jones

I don't think there is a one size fits all solution. The last Habitat for Humanity homes I saw for sale in our area were over $400K. While that may make housing affordable to some households in a high COL place, obviously that is a not a solution here to help the homeless with zero income or seniors living on Social Security alone, which is not adjusted benefit-wise for cost of living based on location.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:30 PM   #40
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... The last Habitat for Humanity homes I saw for sale in our area were over $400K....
Good grief! Jobs in expensive areas do not pay several times higher than the national average, so how can people with low-paying jobs even afford that?

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While that may make housing affordable to some households in a high COL place, obviously that is a not a solution here to help the homeless with zero income or seniors living on Social Security alone, which is not adjusted benefit-wise for cost of living based on location.
They simply have to relocate to less expensive areas. For the same money, they can have open space and better housing than getting crowded in inner cities. We cannot keep subsidizing people to pile on top of one another.
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