September 28, 2015

The "tiny house" approach to housing the homeless in Madison isn't as bad as its neighborhood opponents once feared.

Some of the NIMBYs who signed the petition against it offer positive quotes to the Wisconsin State Journal reporter.
“I think a lot of the resistance was a knee-jerk reaction, a ‘not-in-my-backyard’ reaction, and I had it at first, too.... I think it’s actually added value to the neighborhood.”...

"They are very quiet, nice people. Very clean"...

"I hope they keep up the good work."...

"We quite enjoy them as neighbors... They’ve done everything they said they’d do with the site."

19 comments:

lgv said...

Give it time.

There is a cost issue with tiny homes, but hey, what the heck. They aren't so much tiny houses as tiny bedrooms. They are 98 sq. ft., they apparently have no plumbing, which is how they only cost $3500. They need a central location for bathroom facilities.

I like experiments like this, but it not a solution until the experiment is done.

Ann Althouse said...

"They need a central location for bathroom facilities."

But they do have that at this site. The city required that.

Quinn Satterwaite said...

According to the article there are a grand total of 3 occupied trailer homes. In one of which resides the President of Occupy Madison, who presumably knows to keep his nose clean before he calls up the news reporter for a follow up story.

The only problem being solved here is how to get gadflies publicity. Better to reign in a tool shed than serve in a subsidized apartment.

SJ said...

In my (small) experience with helping the poor and the homeless...it is very hard to help them integrate with the rest of society.

Some people take short trips through poor-and-homeless phases. Other people enter, and find it impossible to leave.

It is this second group that is hardest to deal with. Whether as new neighbors in the "tiny houses", or as homeless people on the street.

Because they have habits and attitudes that reduce the desire of most non-homeless people to have them as neighbors.

Curious George said...

"So far, five people are living in three tiny houses..."

Well the mantra of the left "If we can just help X people it will be worth it." But that $10,500 could have helped at lot more than five people find shelter and food.

Oh, apparently Madison has no homeless that are black. Or deemed by Occupy Madison worth sheltering.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I don't get the entire concept of tiny houses to help the homeless.

Tiny individual houses are wildly inefficient in terms of construction costs, land usage, and heating requirements. You'd be much better off building a small apartment building with a communal bathroom. Plus the residents wouldn't have to go outside in the middle of winter to use the bathroom.

tim maguire said...

"NIMBY" is one of those terms I hate. It's ad hominem and often used dishonestly by people who are just happy it's not their backyard on the dock. Why shouldn't people object to objectionable things going nearby? Why shouldn't people want to like and maintain their own neighborhood? The answer is obvious and even the louts crying "NIMBY" know it.

mccullough said...

Looks like the Hobbit village

EMD said...

"They are very quiet, nice people. Very clean"..


That's some dog whistle, right there.

Laslo Spatula said...

Notice in the photograph the wheels on the Tiny Houses.

Once they have enough of the homeless in the houses the trap will be sprung and they will hitch them all to trailer trucks in the middle of the night and drop them off in remote Montana.

I am Laslo.

TosaGuy said...

It can very well be true that there have been no major problems and the neighbors are happy with that.

What tune will those neighbors sing when it comes time to sell their house.

Mac McConnell said...

Only in Madison would a trailer park be called a TINY HOUSE VILLAGE.

Peter said...

"Tiny individual houses are wildly inefficient in terms of construction costs, land usage, and heating requirements. You'd be much better off building a small apartment building with a communal bathroom. Plus the residents wouldn't have to go outside in the middle of winter to use the bathroom."

I'd agree with at least two out of three: they use more land than an apartment building, and (per sq ft) they'll be expensive to heat.

But apartment buildings have interior corridors and other common space that must be maintained, each apt. must have two exits for fire safety, there's a real foundation, there are ADA requirements for new construction that become especially costly if there's more than one floor; all these requirements become costly.

Whereas these are essentially storage buildings plus a couple of windows and some electric wiring; with a standard design, parts can be produced assembly-line style and a kit should be simple enough that practically anyone should be able to assemble one.

Although they're probably not very durable, and all that exterior surface will torpedo any hope of energy efficiency.

Carol said...

It is this second group that is hardest to deal with. Whether as new neighbors in the "tiny houses", or as homeless people on the street.

Oh but we mustn't allow these terrible trailer park places. Which is where poor people used to live, before Planning and Zoning decided they were too troublesome.

n.n said...

Integrated welfare ghettos. Treating symptoms is profitable.

EMD said...

"TINY HOUSE VILLAGE."

I'm surprised it's not PRECIOUSTOWN. It would be in Portland.

DavidD said...

What's the incidence rate of tornadoes in Madison?

gbarto said...

Living in the SF Bay area, I'm a bit worn out on people who think it would be so great if we were housed in multi-story apartment buildings, even as the zoning board and neighborhood association vote down anything smaller than McMansions for millionaires. Part of what made this country work is the expanses of land allowing ordinary folks the chance to be landowners so the propertied class wouldn't stand apart from ordinary citizens. We're destroying that and yet we're surprised people won't invest themselves in neighborhoods they know will never truly be their own.

Anthony said...

The reason this works is buried in the middle of the story: Residents are called “stewards” because they don’t own the tiny houses, though they must contribute at least 500 hours of sweat equity to get a house.

Someone who is capable of putting in 500 hours of work is in SJ's first category. They are "down on their luck", but they're not actively making themselves worse off.