Tiny Homes Acceptance – The NIMBY factor
Tiny homes acceptance is one of those things it’s hard to be neutral about.
Searching the internet, most commentators are either big supporters or rabid opponents. Not many in the middle with an “It’s not for me but good luck to those that like them” attitude.
There are a few reasons for this polarisation.
- A perception that tiny homes occupants would have lower standards
- Concern about the negative effect on property values in surrounding areas
- Increased crime
- Increased demand for municipal services
- Changing the “tone” of the neighbourhood
- The tiny home movement is an ideal target for the NIMBY factor.
This Not In My Back Yard motivation stirs up strong emotions in normally quiet, law-abiding, tolerant people. It rears its head when change or unwanted developments are forced on neighbourhoods that had previously not considered them.
This can be opposition to building power stations, wind turbines, shopping centres, airports, drug rehabilitation clinics, unusually designed buildings or tiny homes. We can agree that all of these are necessary, generally good for the community and should be built – as long as they are built somewhere else.
It is understandable to anyone who has had their neighbourhood disrupted or read about it.
Most of us would not want a power station, prison or factory built next to our neat, comfortable suburban residence. We would not want an unconventional new housing development anywhere near us if we feared it would degenerate into a slum.
Legal battles over tiny homes acceptance
A big battle over tiny homes acceptance is playing out in Wichita, Kansas. Developers have approval from the City to build 90 tiny homes on 15 acres of land bordered by existing houses with values of between $300 000 and $million.
Despite the opposition, the city council voted 7-0 in favour of the development.
Details in this story from KWCH12.
Congratulations to the councillors for their bold stand, but I suspect that the battle is not yet over.
It’s not all bad news though. Bucksport, Maine has approved an application by a resident to build a 576 sq.ft. tiny home, the first for the town. Visit the Bangor Daily News for the full story.
Tiny homes as a solution for housing the homeless
Eden Village in Springfield, MO will soon receive its first tiny home occupant. The project will house 31 formerly homeless people in 400 sq.ft. 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom homes with kitchens. Homes cost around $30 000. The cost kept down as most of the work is being done by volunteers. 14 homes are already under construction with the first resident Tommy Yarberry about to move in.
Residents will pay $300 rent each month. The balance of the estimated monthly cost for all services of $550 will be met by donations.
The Springfield News carries the full story of this development. It shows that tiny homes acceptance is possible when a need for affordable housing can be met without making nearby homeowners nervous.
- Tiny homes acceptance can be difficult when existing property owners feel threatened
- City and town councils need to be sensitive to the needs of developers and homeowners
- It is possible for tiny homes developments to coexist with conventional homes
- Economic and environmental factors will increase the demand for tiny homes
Whether you would want to live in a tiny home yourself or could not imagine doing so, there is a strong possibility that the tiny homes movement will affect you in some way.
You, your children or your parents could be forced to move into a tiny home for financial reasons, because you want to lessen your impact on the environment, live off the grid or follow a different lifestyle.
Or, a tiny home development might spring up in your neighbourhood.
Where will you stand when the protestors gather?
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