Seattle aPodments

Cash strapped minimum wage workers and students in the Seattle area are seeking and welcoming more affordable housing in their city, but the explosion of the aPodment micro housing units in Seattle is drawing new criticism in this dense metropolitan area. City officials are claiming that these 200 square feet tiny units are unregulated and skirt the city’s building laws.

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Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

Many of the aPodments built by Calhoun Properties offer downtown amenities like private bathrooms and kitchenettes, lofts, security, private decks, access to public transportation, skylights, granite countertops and shared amenities like BBQs, roof decks and ADA accessible group kitchens. Some of these tiny spaces also come with furniture and utilities paid all for around $500-$750 a month. All this in a city where rent prices are around $1,200 a month.

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The city is concerned that these more condensed forms of housing, which only require a building permit, increase the density of a neighborhood but don’t provide additional parking. They are also concerned that there is no design review before construction and have asked for a short-term moratorium on building these types of units until they can decide how to regulate them.

Micro-housing developers defend these units by stating that many people who live in downtown areas want to be closer to public transportation, shops and city amenities, but don’t want to pay higher rental prices. The idea has become so popular, that other units are being planned in Portland, Ore., California and New Jersey.

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Photos by aPodments/Calhoun Properties

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

AbleNook Modular Dwelling

Announcement

by Sean Verdecia

Our passion project from school, “Able-Nook,” has just gone live on Kickstarter!

Kickstarter link: http://kck.st/WvUe4n and our website : www.AbleNook.com

I live in a small bungalow and love it, so I based my idea for a new form of disaster relief housing around a Lego version of a bungalow. The goal was to create a shelter that can be assembled in hours, without tools, on uneven terrain. These shelters can be indefinitely expanded and are shipped flat-packed. Flat-packing consolidates shipment sizes and allows more families to be helped per delivery.

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As you connect the structural walls when building the integrated electrical system is also connected, along with the integrated lighting.

We are hoping that these units can take the place of FEMA trailers so that history doesn’t repeat itself, and so families can have some measure of dignity after losing their homes. Continue reading

River Guide Tiny Houses

This last summer, my husband and I took a three day whitewater rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River in central California. This area of the state has a culture of its own. While the mountains and the coast have the ski and surf bum, the American River is home to the seasonal river guide. Many of these river guides come from all over the country to raft and kayak one of the most popular rivers in the West and they live from May to October in a hodgepodge of dwellings.

The river guides we rafted, ate and played in the water with lived in tents at nearby campgrounds, in temporary buildings on land leased by various rafting companies or in VW buses in the parking lot. One of the guides even lived the entire summer in a hammock strung up between two live oak trees. The guides used the campground bathrooms and showers and cooked in outdoor kitchens. Around the river, and in the massive, thorny blackberry bushes these free spirits squat in what might seem like terrible living conditions, but what they see as the best way to experience the river. Continue reading