- Potential neighbors of a $7.8 million proposed affordable "tiny house" development in Tallahassee, FL, have filed legal challenges against the project due to fear that low-income residents will create an unsafe neighborhood, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
- "The Dwellings" community will include 24 sustainable homes and 130 units ranging from 250 square feet to 400 square feet on 30 acres, and it will feature solar-powered shared areas, on-site community services, a community center, organic garden and greenhouse — all for approximately $400 per month, utilities included.
- The average rent in Tallahassee is $1,050, according to The Democrat, and "The Dwellings" developer Rick Kearney said tiny houses might be the answer for "single mothers, senior citizens, retired school teachers or recovering drug addicts," who have trouble paying the high rate.
Kearney said his plan would create the nation's first tiny house community that focuses on the issue of affordable housing. Kearney, a successful businessman notable in the Tallahassee area for his advocacy on behalf of the homeless said the tiny house development will "be totally different" from the homeless shelter, which has seen residents or those associated with residents lingering in neighboring communities and leaving garbage behind.
The project, however, has received kudos from sustainable community activists. Kearney said the design will be upscale, and residents will be screened. However, that assurance was not enough for nearby residents who have filed protests against Leon County’s approval of the development.
The tiny house movement has been making inroads in the U.S. housing market but has failed to establish a mainstream foothold yet. And Kearney isn't the only one with an eye toward tiny developments.
Colorado’s Sprout Tiny Homes is developing a 200-unit community in Salida, CO. When complete, it will be the largest tiny home development in the U.S. Sprout hopes its high-quality homes will take off, and it is actively working with municipalities to deal with the ongoing problem of zoning for such small structures.
The city of Cleveland is also home to another tiny house experiment by Sutton Builders and Citizens Bank. The companies have joined forces to build two, 583-square-foot homes to gauge the public’s interest in going small. One of the sustainable homes will go on the market when finished, and the other will host tours and brief stays by those who want to try out living in a tiny house.