Tiny homes are everywhere, and the recent phenomenon that has minimalists and those interested in simplified lives is not new. Although the most recent form of the tiny abode, the tiny house, may be the most well-known example of small living, compact dwellings have been used for centuries. From the English cottage to the cabin in the woods, tiny homes have been a constant presence in our architectural heritage.
In spite of this, Americans' house sizes have been increasing year by year, despite the decreasing size of the average American family and the increasing financial struggles faced by most.
In contrast to this illogical trend stands the increasingly popular appeal of the tiny home.
They are versatile. They allow for innovative and practical solutions. Tiny houses allow for travel, independence, sustainability, and more financial freedom. Families with aging parents may wish to have an accessory dwelling on their property to allow their loved ones to live close by and under care while maintaining independence. They allow for shelter at a minimal cost to anyone struggling to afford a traditional, and often oversized, home.
In fact, after the recession in 2008, communities across the country responded to an increase in local homelessness by creating tiny home communities for the homeless. (You can watch a documentary about it here.)
Right now, however, finding areas that allow for smaller-than-usual homes is a challenge. This is in part because of well-intentioned (but outdated) laws that do not consider the current socio-economic landscape of many of our towns and cities. Our work includes increasing the discussion around the laws pertaining to tiny homes with the goal of increasing access to tiny homes across New England.
Building Brighter is all about tiny homes. Those could take the form of tiny houses or micro-apartments. We envision intentionally tiny-home communities with support to foster dignity and independence for our neighbors who need those the most.
© 2016 Building Brighter Foundation.
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Building Brighter works to end homelessness in New England by building sustainable tiny home communities for the homeless and for low-income families.
Building Brighter Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law.