Call-To-Action: Advocate for Tiny Houses in Baltimore

Tiny houses could be coming to Baltimore. Now is the time to voice your support. Local advocates, tiny dwellers, and homeowners have been presented with an exciting opportunity to contribute ideas and support of a city council bill proposing an auxiliary dwelling unit, aka ADU, zoning ordinance.

City Councilman Ryan Dorsey is leading the effort to create a pathway for tiny and small detached single family dwellings on the same residential lot as a principal structure. At one-time carriage houses were once common in the region, but post-WWII planning policy did away with ADUs to discourage density. In the modern day, increasing density and creating more housing stock is a way to combat soaring housing costs in urban areas, like Baltimore. Read the proposed council bill here.

Councilman Ryan Dorsey is spearheading an important first step in bringing Tiny Houses into Baltimore. Fortunately, it is well supported, boasting 12 other sponsors. The path of least resistance with legalizing the movement seems to be tiny houses on foundations, and this bill is no exception. This bill focuses allowing THOFs as accessory dwelling units in backyards. I’m hopeful that this will quickly lead to legalizing THOWs, and even more importantly to legalizing tiny house villages. The cost of land & housing in this area is so prohibitively high that home ownership is unattainable for far too many people. A village of tiny houses could radically and instantly change that dynamic.

Jill Kanto, local tiny house dweller, and advocate

The proposed bill would allow for ADUs up to 750 square feet, a small foundation based house. Proponents see moveable tiny houses, aka THOWs, as the next step. That’s one reason why it is so important to voice your support of this ordinance and of tiny housing. The more cities to embrace innovative, yet tried and true housing solutions like fixed ADU’s, the more likely they will be open to even more affordable, less traditional options like moveable tiny houses and tiny house community developments.  To learn more about ADU’s and why people build them, visit https://accessorydwellings.org and read Kol Peterson’s new book, Backdoor Revolution.

If you are homeowner in Maryland, actively considering an ADU, or have one now, your perspective, testimony, and experience is needed.

Voice your support and share your thoughts via this google form: https://bit.ly/2q6FOQi

 

Due to the visionary leadership of Ryan Dorsey, this bill would provide some of the most creative and affordable options for small homes all over Baltimore as well as serve as a model for inclusionary housing for so many other highly segregated cities.

Greg Cantori, seasoned Baltimore housing advocate

Another exciting Baltimore opportunity to demonstate the value tiny houses can bring the local community: an experimental pilot project!

Cantori Cares has recently accepted applications for tiny house dwellers to participate in an innovative urban farm caretaker cottage project, aka moveable tiny house project, located in Northeast Baltimore in the Frankford community. This endeavor is not for the faint of heart or risk-averse, as it will be an unsanctioned project. Though, there is some key local support. It will showcase how neglected lots can be transformed into a self-sustaining micro-communities, providing housing and fresh food via engaged citizens. The tiny house dwellers will be actively working with local farm initiatives and offer educational workshops and tours. A pilot project like this could start a ripple effect across other urban areas in the state and the entire US. I for one, can’t wait to see this experiment move forward. Even if it doesn’t last, it will create a much-needed conversation on how we can make our communities more resilient. Learn more.

Our goal is to establish a sustainable off-grid tiny home demonstration project working with the land, the community, and each other in showing that it is very possible to live a great life without exploiting others, creating a nuisance, or wasting resources.

Greg Cantori, Cantori Cares

-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor

My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

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