Tiny Houses Shelter the Homeless in Wisconsin

Cheap construction materials, crowdfunding, and volunteer construction crews have produced villages of tiny homes as a place for the homeless to find shelter in every corner of the United States. What does it take for such homes to work?
May 13, 2014, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Brendan O'Brien reports on a growing village of tiny homes in Madison, Wisconsin, originally built by the Occupy Madison group to shelter the homeless. The Madison group is one example of a few around the country—including in New York, Texas, and Washington—where tiny homes are providing shelter for the homeless.

In Madison, the hope is to eventually build 30 homes. The materials for each home cost about $5,000—so far one home is complete and two more are under construction. According to O'Brien "In Newfield, New York, organizers plan 14 to 18 tiny houses on private land with private donations. In Austin, Texas, the plan is to build a village of tiny houses and small shelters for 200 people on 27 acres."

O'Brien quotes Steve Berg of the National Alliance to End Homelessness in describing how programs like these can help the homeless find permanent shelter: "The essential element is a stable residence and any kind of a network of supports," says Berg.

As pointed out by previous coverage of the use of tiny houses to shelter the homeless, zoning and building codes often prevent the construction of tiny-houses.

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Published on Saturday, May 10, 2014 in Reuters via Chicago Tribune
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