Creating Tiny Home Community in our NIMBY World

So you want to start a tiny house community...

The world of development is complicated, doubly so for non-traditional concepts or even for projects labeled 'affordable housing'. These kinds of developments raise concerns about lowering property values, safety, community aesthetics, etc. Welcome to the reality of NIMBY (not in my backyard) criticism. 

Community education is often the first step to changing the hearts and minds of your neighbors and local policy makers.

What is a tiny house community, and why create this kind of development? How can you activate a pro-THIMBY (tiny house in my backyard) attitude in your town? My Tiny House Summit presentation explores these questions and the diversity of tiny house communities across the United States. It provides an in-depth look at various existing community models—the pros, the cons, legalities and feedback from the neighbors.

Tiny House Expedition with Alan Graham, the founder of Community First! Village in Austin, TX

For a look at more tiny home communities and tiny house friendly places, explore this expansive gallery from our Tiny House Expedition travels. This includes various approaches and models with differing legal status. See captions for details.

Community Variables:

  • Intended for moveable tiny houses and/or tiny houses on foundation
  • Includes professionally built and/or DIY tiny homes
  • Rentals available: tiny house or lot rentals (short or long term)
  • Created for those who have made a lifestyle choice
  • Created for low-income housing, including full-time, part-time and/or transitional housing

What would your ideal tiny home community look like?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Theodore Nwangene - May 19, 2017 Reply

Okay this is cool Alexis and I love the way with you presented your video slides..make perfect sense and it of course teaches the intricacies and the importance of building a friendly community and being some sort of cool lad around your neighbourhood,which I believe is the coolest thing to do. Thanks for sharing this man!

Alexis Stephens - May 22, 2017 Reply

Thank you very much Theodore! Tiny home communities and advocacy is one of my passions in life. Happy to share it with you!

Jan - May 29, 2017 Reply

Personally, I like the idea of small and tiny home communities. There is nothing new about the concept of living in a small house. All across the world, people have been living in small spaces. It is a relatively modern concept that community consists of cookie cutter homes in associations with high sticker prices and often very limited options for individual creativity.

The idea of tiny home living is suffering from the perception that lower cost or affordability will equate with less desirable people moving into close proximity with established newer home developments, bringing down property values and increasing crime and vandalism.

What needs to happen is that the stereotypical perception of tiny home living needs to change. It needs to be marketed in appropriate areas, as a lifestyle choice. Many people could be attracted to a change in lifestyle. It has appeal across the board. For young first time buyers, to those wanting a second home that offers a bit of temporary escape from the high energy, intense suburban lifestyle. In addition, single people, couples without children, and older retired folks would no doubt prefer to have another option for decent, sustainable lifestyles. Many retired folk want to travel and be less tied down to a higher cost and more demanding siving situation.

A small town community would of course have to have some sort of homeowner association if the location would be in close proximity to other types of community living. I think there should be room for self expression and individuality. In other words, the homes could be an interesting, but well maintained collection of eclectic style. The lack of individual land space could be addressed through community garden allotments, community recreation areas, perhaps a pool and BBQ area, green space, and central facility for the strict use by residents such as a dining and snack bar area, a lounge area, and a work out room. Laundry facility would also be a plus. Public restrooms and showers could help in cases where some of the homes might not have such facility.

I think with the aging population and the high cost of typical and traditional housing, there would be a definite attraction to set an alternative lifestyle choice into full swing.

Alexis Stephens - May 30, 2017 Reply

Beautifully stated, Jan! You are absolutely right; small space living has been around for age. It’s only in more recent history that the stigma and misperception towards this kind of living has become wide-spread and enthrenched. There’s a need to educate our neighbors on the many benefits of tiny/small home communities and on the people drawn to this lifestyle.

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