The Tiny House Movement has been growing rapidly, both in sheer numbers and in acceptance. Within the tiny house movement is a growing number of tiny house communities. Places where people who appreciate minimalism and embrace sustainability can come together as neighbors.
Tiny house communities often feature many of the things we associate with the new age communities of the 1970s. Many feature community gardens, edible landscaping, and play areas for children.
However, as times change, many communities are forming in urban areas where they can embrace being close to jobs, schools and cultural events without having to have a high overhead. Modern tiny communities may offer a laundry, WiFi, pet walking areas and library.
In addition, many tiny house communities have been established as a way for communities to help others. The tiny house movement serves homeless people and low income families.
Advantages of Tiny House Communities
- Share your time and skills with others
- Live sustainably with a low carbon footprint
- Reduce your bills – mortgage and utilities are less
- Less maintenance – more family fun time
- Easy to travel
Some communities are year-round residences and some are more geared to travelers. It no surprise that the state of Florida aka The Sunshine State has jumped on the trend. Aging parks that once supported RV’s are now embracing tiny homes.
Orlando Lakefront at College Park in Orlando, Florida began as an RV park for travelers in the 1950’s. It then morphed into a winter RV park for seniors. Now it has a new look as a tiny home community.
Due to Florida’s regulations, tiny houses must qualify as “tow-able recreational vehicles”. They charge lot rates by the week, month or year which include hookups and outdoor dining area. They currently have a waiting list and are a model to other tiny communities.
Llamalopolis, an Urban High Tech Tiny Community
This community started by techy Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, is open to modern community for Airstream RVs and tiny houses. Like Lakefront it was built on an old RV park. Unlike Lakefront it is in the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The park consists of full and part-time residents. Many works step away in downtown Los Angeles. Pets are welcome and Tony’s two llamas roam the park watching out over everything. A large outdoor green space (courtesy of AstroTurf) offers dining, grilling, and social areas.
Tiny Home Communities For The Homeless
Homelessness is a complex issue all over the world. Many countries are building on the tiny house movement to solve that problem.
The Tiny Homes Foundation of Australia has taken this idea and built a village in Gosford, NSW. They work with social housing providers to establish and provide the houses. Common areas for laundry, gardens and community room are also built.
In the past six months since the project opened people in the village have kept their rent payments, made improvements in mental health and procured jobs. The tiny house village is near public transportation and an easy walk to downtown businesses.
“It’s not about building houses and structures, it’s actually about changing people’s lives.” David Wooldridge, CEO of Tiny Homes Foundation states.
Café Workers and Tiny Home Residents
Social Bite, a restaurant chain in Edinburgh, Scotland has been hiring and training homeless workers. They realized that their workers were prevented from being productive because they were tired, dirty and hungry from living on the street.
So the restaurant purchased land and has constructed eleven tiny houses that homeless employees can use for up to a year. This will give them a safe place to stay while they learn job skills and have time to save some money.
Support for residence will also be provided with education and counseling in mental health issues, budgeting, and employment opportunities. In addition, the village will boast a community garden and chickens so residents can practice healthy eating.
Many tiny home villages are springing up all over the world. One resource is Search Tiny House Villages.
You Can Start A Tiny House Community
Have you considered starting a tiny house village or community? You may wish to provide housing for veterans or abused women. Or you may just want to provide a place for like-minded and sustainable residents.
The first step to planning for a tiny house community is to find a suitable piece of land. This goes into the second step which is zoning. Zoning laws are going to vary between countries and cities. You may encounter different zoning and building regulations depending on if you wish to be in an urban or rural area.
Many government officials may not understand what a tiny house is and why people are attracted to them. Education of local officials is often an important step in starting a community.
Once you obtain land you need to establish a plan. Where and how will the houses sit? What about community areas such as parking, gardens and social areas? How will the community manage shared spaces?
The tiny house movement is growing rapidly and tiny house communities are a major part pf that movement.