Jun 27, 2014

Homelessness and Tiny Home Villages

To address the homeless situation in Honolulu, is it time we considered a village of tiny homes? Precedents exist. The first two images are from Opportunity Village in Oregon, the other photos are in Austin, Texas, which includes teepees, tiny homes and mobile homes.


The caption where the following picture came from reads: "Here's What Austin's Newest Housing For the Chronically Homeless Looks Like". Not only is housing provided, but also on-site support services -- medical and vocational. This seems like a key ingredient to the program's success, but who pays for the staffing, operational and maintenance costs? Should financial sustainability be a consideration in affordable housing developments? The site will also have a mix of other commercial mixed uses, such as a Bed & Breakfast and an outdoor movie theater. 

Such mixed uses may seem incompatible with a social assistance program, but given the higher cost of living in Hawaii, it seems reasonable to have an accessory or even consider a primary commercial use to help make the social component financially sustainable. What do you think -- would this work for Honolulu? Is there an underutilized part of town that would be appropriate for these uses? What is stopping us from building adequate numbers of housing?

Photo Source

 Site plan #2

Site Plan #3