Building tiny houses for Chicago’s homeless

A future community of tiny houses in Bronzeville could help Chicago’s homeless:

Tiny Homes Chicago, a venture from AIA Chicago, Landon Bone Baker Architects, Windy City Times, Pride, is of the firm belief that the tiny homes can help this group of people who are trying to positively contribute, but who are also being negatively affected by the transience of moving from shelter to shelter. Small homes would afford folks the ability to study and seek safety.

That’s why they’re creating a competition to create a Tiny Homes community in Bronzeville to alleviate affordable housing. This neighborhood would be a pilot prototype for other interested communities.

If you think you can come up with a solid design for a home, then attend the upcoming meeting on Wednesday, December 2 for Interested parties. The final proposals will address planned 12-unit developments, where residents have a safe secure space to sleep, study, and store their possessions. In addition, there would be a 1,200 s.f. communal space, as well as secure bike storage.

The 350 s.f. units themselves will have bathrooms, storage, and sleeping space. With a $30,000 limit on material and mechanical systems, the units need to come to life for under $60,000 and follow city building codes.

Tiny houses have been proposed for the homeless before (see here and here) and this effort in Chicago could serve to spur similar efforts. I imagine several important questions will arise during this competition:

  1. How many locations in Chicago could support even small tiny house developments like this one? While affordable housing is needed and the homeless need help, there may not be many neighbors who would want to be near such sites.
  2. Is the budget reasonable both to build lasting units and to make this an affordable project for funders?
  3. How will these housing units be paired with social services? Providing more permanent shelters could go a long way but so would jobs, education, health care, and other needs.

One thought on “Building tiny houses for Chicago’s homeless

  1. Pingback: San Jose residents don’t want tiny houses for the homeless nearby | Legally Sociable

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