Finding Space: Assessing how planning responds to tiny houses for homeless populations

Finding Space: Assessing how planning responds to tiny houses for homeless populations

Although great strides have been made in reducing the homeless population in the United States, in January 2015 there were still over 549,000 people who were counted as homeless on one night. A variety of homeless assistance responses exist, ranging from emergency shelters to supportive permanent housing. However the response is not quick enough. In some cities, communities have taken it upon themselves to build tiny house villages as a cost-effective and quick way to provide housing for homeless persons and families. Tiny house villages are usually small neighborhoods of 30 to 200 dwellings that can range in size from 60 to 200 sq. ft. Although communities are pursuing the model to address urgent homeless and housing crises, it is still unclear from a sparse literature how well tiny house villages perform as a homelessness assistance and housing policy.

To what extent do local planning practices facilitate unconventional affordable housing models such as tiny house villages for homeless populations? 

This paper will not attempt to provide a comprehensive measure of success for each village. Rather, as starting point for such discussions the report examines how tiny house villages fit within the current housing and homeless assistance system, if they do at all.

ORGANIZATION: School of Urban Planning, McGill University
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017
LOCATION: Montréal, Québec, Canada