With Jenny Durkan elected as Seattle mayor, she’s expected to start fulfilling her campaign promises: one aspiring to build 1,000 more tiny homes for the homeless at an estimated $10 million cost.
The concept is not new, but here’s where Seattle is now and how Durkan wants to evolve it.
A look at the tiny-home villages currently in Seattle
Hundreds of community members – from colleges to the Tulalip Tribe – have built tiny homes for years to scatter throughout sanctioned tent cities.
Seattle made national headlines when it opened that village in January 2016, opening 14 spaces to homeless residents. Donors funded the 8-by-12-foot spaces – costing about $2,200.
Each adult living in the Central District village pays $90 per month to cover the utilities.
With the goal of moving people from tents to secure housing, Sharon Lee executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute – the organization that oversees the village – calls it a good crisis response. Tiny houses can help hundreds of people with short-term housing as they find jobs and feel safe in their space,
“We must stop the public health crisis of deaths, illness and misery caused by the lack of sufficient shelter,” Lee told KIRO 7.
So in under two years’ time, LIHI opened three more villages, housing between 40 to 60 people per site.
Some tiny home villages – like the one in the Central District – include plumbed toilets, rather than portable ones, and the spaces are insulated.
Three tiny house villages and three sites (which includes tiny homes and tents) operate in Seattle under LIHI. The below interactive is based on a public list of locations published on The Low Income Housing Institute website. Scroll down under interactive to keep reading this article.
The City of Seattle does not cover the cost of building tiny homes, but it does pay for some operation and staffing. Funding and the creation of the spaces came largely from LIHI, private donors and volunteers.
As LIHI is responsible for the villages, they are managed by Nickelsville, a self-managed community of homeless people. Workers monitor for criminal activity and clean up debris in the village.