Just as local, organic, and permacultural growing systems are now entering their second and third generations (networking and scaling up), so the tiny house movement is now about community as much as one’s own tiny home. YES!
I lived for nearly 20 years in a tiny home community — the Yurt Park in the middle of the village of Kelly Wyoming directly across from the Grand Tetons: ten round yurts (each with electricity, 20 feet in diameter, or about 330 “square” feet) sharing a single bathhouse (for kitchen, toilets, showers, washers and dryers) on 16 acres of rented land converted from an RV park. That little community lives on, and in fact, my very own yurt was recently the subject of a feature in the New York Times!
Above: Boneyard Studios in Washington, D.C.
Tiny house villages are a new part of the tiny house movement, yet they hold a lot of potential to transform lives and communities. The idea behind these villages is straightforward: bring tiny houses together in one place to create communities that share land, time together, skills, support, and other resources.
Some tiny house villages are still in the planning phase or are demonstration villages, and many are designed to house the homeless. But as the tiny house movement grows, so too does the desire to live a simple life in community. What we see today may be the beginnings of a large and diverse tiny house village movement. Below are 11 tiny house villages leading the way.
A demonstration tiny house village in the District of Columbia, Boneyard Studios has a mission to demonstrate creative urban infill, promote the benefits of tiny houses, support other tiny house builders, and model what a tiny house community could look like.
Community First! Village, a 27 acre master-planned community under development, will provide affordable, sustainable, housing in the form of tiny houses, RVs, mobile homes, and more. They are focusing on creating a supportive community for the disabled and chronically homeless in Austin and the surrounding area.
Still in the planning stages, this tiny house village in Sonoma, California is the brainchild of Jay Shafer, founder of the Four Lights Tiny House Company. The village will be zoned as an RV park, but function like a coop, with shared common spaces and an intentional community vibe. The village will be completed in 2015.
Originally a self-governing tent camp of homeless adults in Olympia, Washington, Quixote Village now consists of 30 tiny houses, a community garden, and a common space with showers, laundry facilities and living and dining space.
Touted as the first tiny house hotel, Caravan is a model of what a tiny house village could look like. Although there are no permanent residents in this little village of tiny houses, it provides visitors an opportunity to test drive tiny house living and experience what it’s like to live among other tiny house dwellers.
A collaboration between the “housed and unhoused,” Opportunity Village is a self-governed, self-managed tiny house village created to provide stable, safe housing while people transition to a more permanent living situation. Emerald Village is a planned tiny house village designed to be a model for long-term, affordable, tiny house living.
A group of people in the Bay Area, led by Chelsea Rustrum, are in the beginning stages of creating a tiny house village near San Francisco. The idea is to create a wifi-enabled village for those who want to be connected both online and off. The project is currently looking for land on which to test their model. To get involved and stay in the loop, sign up for the mailing list and join the community on Neighborland.
Given the thumbs up by city leaders in Portland, proposed tiny house villages called Micro Communities, with the help of building company TechDwell, will provide affordable housing for the working poor. Still in the planning stage, these communities offer a way for people living near or under the poverty line to find safe housing, shared spaces, and vibrant neighborhoods.
An official homeless encampment in Portland, Dignity Village has a number of tiny houses, community gardens, communal kitchens, internet access, access to education and counseling and more.
A growing tiny village in upstate New York, Second Wind was started by Carmen Guidi as an attempt to help the homeless. With a crew of volunteers, he built the first six tiny houses and in early 2014. The first residents moved in shortly thereafter. There are currently plans to expand the village as time and funding allow.
A project of Occupy Madison, OM Village is a tiny house village for the homeless currently in the building stage with the first four houses nearing completion. In addition to providing housing, there are plans for community gardens, an Occupy Madison store, a day labor program and more.