In my view Tiny Houses are the answer to many of our larger systemic issues that exist today; The inaccessibility to housing, toxic mortgages, materialism, abuse of the environment and lack of community. When I think about these issues it occurs to me that many of these issues have stemmed out of one thing, the lack of responsibility to our fellow man or woman. But who can blame us, we live in these large houses where we don’t even know our neighbor, where politicians live in an alternate reality of millionaires and closed door deals, where cities drown their citizens in bureaucratic red tape.
So what can be done? We need a Tiny House strong hold, a place to make a home, to demonstrate our viability, to make our statement or….. just simply live. It can get frustrating at how complicated the process is to live simply is, that’s some irony right there! I am emailed almost daily by individuals wanting to live more responsibly, to connect with those around them and to do so legally. While there is hope in more progressive locations like the west coast, many places find themselves locked in building codes that won’t budge. Here on the east coast, we find ourselves having to sneak around, hide our Tiny Houses, it’s quite difficult.
The trick is to have one viable Tiny House Community, a model that can be replicated. With one model, we can show people what it looks like, how it functions. We can show our municipality that from a legal standpoint, that there are models that exist that work.
It occurs to me as I write this, what if we were to write a set of building codes and zoning laws that pertained to Tiny Houses, that was licensed under creative commons and we designed to slip into existing codes of most cities. These codes and laws would outline the construction, zoning, taxation, safety concerns, and issuance of permits for Tiny Houses. It would be a template which, with some convincing, we could provide to our local code enforcement and lawmakers to show them how Tiny Houses could function within their framework and where they could issue permits, collect taxes, ensure safety, ensure public health etc.
I think where many people get stuck at is when approaching code enforcement, they are unable to articulate a solid plan to achieve both the goals of the municipality and the Tiny House person. A set of codes would demonstrate the person is serious and establish talking points relevant to those who make the rules.
Dare I say, this just might be the first step on a journey to spark a revolution for Tiny House communities?