Tiny Homes are housing units that are 400 square feet or less.
Importantly, they can provide all daily uses of a typical home at a fraction of the cost.
While not the total answer to our affordable housing problem, they could be a part of the solution for many people.
Unfortunately, there are numerous barriers in local codes to Tiny Homes on foundations and Moveable Tiny Homes. Our Building Code that regulates how a house is constructed — from ceiling height to width of stairs and minimum size of the rooms — is meant for larger traditional housing.
Also, the building code requires a permanent foundation, which rules out Moveable Tiny Homes. Development codes also have requirements that limit affordable Tiny Homes — such as minimum lot size requirements, parking requirements and zoning district limits.
Many communities have revised or are in the process of revising their local codes to make Tiny Homes an affordable housing option.
We are starting a community conversation about the need for Tiny Homes, and there are two ways you can participate.
First, on February 19, come to the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (CHALT) Community Forum, Tiny Homes: Sustainable, Affordable Housing for Our Community?
During the forum we will learn what it is like to live in a Tiny Home, and what other communities are doing to make them affordable housing options, e.g. Asheville, Austin and Fresno.
And we will examine the question: Do Tiny Homes make sense for our community?
Whether you are intrigued by this approach or are unsure, please bring your questions about Tiny Homes to this forum. You can learn more about the forum at CHALT.org
Second, on February 13th, we submitted a petition to the Town of Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board: “Make Tiny Homes a Legal and Affordable Housing Option”.
You can view and sign this petition at CHALT.org . We will take this petition to the Town Council.
Please join this conversation.
There are many exciting and inspiring ways that Tiny Homes could help make us a more affordable, diverse and compassionate community.
Chapel Hill Tiny Home Initiative