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  • Brooke Lunsford

Tiny Homes Concept Offers Hope to Many

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

What are tiny houses? Why do people choose tiny homes and what does tiny living mean?

Simply put, the trend toward tiny houses has become a social movement. People are choosing to downsize the space they live in, simplify, and live with less. People are embracing the tiny life philosophy and the freedom that accompanies the tiny house lifestyle. The tiny house movement is about more than simply living in a small space (although, a small house is certainly part of it).

It turns out there are many merits to the tiny home movement and the tiny life philosophy. Of course, people may join the movement for any number of reasons, but the most popular reasons include environmental concerns, financial concerns, and the desire for more time and freedom.

The tiny life provides huge financial advantages and the ability to live a lifestyle filled with adventure. For most Americans, 1/3 to 1/2 of their income is dedicated to the roof over their heads! That means many people will spend a lot of time figuring out how to afford their homes. Buying a house often translates to at least 15 years of working over your lifetime to pay for it. Because of the high cost of owning a “typical-sized” home, as well as the associated expenses (and culture of “buy now, pay later”), 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

We work hard to afford bigger houses than we need. We continue to work, so we can fill our houses with more stuff…items we may not need but buy anyway. Many Americans are overwhelmed by their packed schedules and obligations. They’re tired of running in the rat race.

By building Tiny Houses, we are not only offering an affordable alternative for shelter, we are creating a community of people who share common values.

How Big is the Average Tiny House?

What is a tiny house? How big (or small, rather) is a tiny house anyway? Well, the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical small or tiny house definition is a home with square footage is between 100 and 400 square feet. While of course there aren’t any rules to joining the tiny house movement, when people refer to “the tiny life,” their tiny house generally falls under the 400 square foot level.

Tiny homes may be rented or owned. You may choose a mini home on wheels or your small home may set on a foundation. Most tiny houses are independent structures—some are parked on land with other buildings or a larger home. Other tiny houses are parked on their own lot. Some tiny houses are designed and built by the owner themselves, while others are purchased, adapted from trailers, or built from a tiny house kit. Tiny houses come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but they all enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.

What is the Village at Benedict Road Project?

The Village at Benedict Road involves the purchase and development of 141 acres of land in Culloden, West Virginia.

The project involves building three hundred (300) homes utilizing the Tiny Home[1] concept of permanent housing, meaning they will have square footage of between 400- 600 square feet. The community will also include some retail and common spaces operated by the residents. Tiny Homes can typically accommodate 1-2 persons each and are ideal for homeless individuals (including Veterans), single parents with a child, students and elderly or low-income individuals/couples. These homes will be made available for rent, lease purchase and/or sale.

Tiny Home communities are a new part of the tiny house movement, yet they hold a lot of potential to transform lives and communities. The idea behind this community is straightforward. It’s about bringing people who want to live in Tiny Homes together in one place to create safe, decent and affordable communities that share land, time together, skills, support, and other resources.

Of the 622 persons on the street in West Virginia (as of January 2013), 122 (20%) were in households with children, 182 (29%) people were chronically homeless, and 37 (.5%) people were veterans. The Village at Benedict Road project will combat this situation as well as provide affordable alternatives to home ownership. Homes will be offered for rent, outright purchase and under a lease-purchase agreement at extremely affordable rates.


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