Monday, December 4, 2023



Tiny houses gain popularity but are illegal in many areas

Like many innovative ideas, tiny homes are gaining popularity for a lot of good reasons. They’re less expensive than full-size homes. They take up less space, which usually leads to lower land cost and fewer possessions. They allow for minimalist living. They often have wheels, so you can tow them like a travel trailer and easily move. Yet they can still run afoul of local ordinances, says Missouri State News.

“The tiny house movement is growing,” said Dr. Krista Evans, assistant professor of planning and geography at Missouri State University. “I think it is exciting and has great potential. It could offer an affordable housing solution to recent college grads, the newly divorced, those who have lost a spouse or those wanting to downsize and live more affordably after retirement.”

Evans works with Eden Village, a tiny house community for people who are chronically homeless in Springfield. She is part of a collaborative team at Missouri State that is looking at the community in several ways.

Evans looks at the land use challenges associated with tiny home communities. One example is how people would react to a tiny home village for the homeless in their own neighborhoods.

Evans started studying tiny homes when she realized many were parked illegally in urban areas. Because of zoning laws, homes on wheels or small foundations have strict land use laws.

“It was shocking to see how many people bought or built a tiny house on wheels without knowing it was actually illegal to park it in their yards or driveways,” Evans said.

Evans looks at land use barriers in Asheville, North Carolina, and Horry County, South Carolina.

Both communities are looking for ways to integrate tiny homes into communities. These communities are only looking at foundation-based tiny homes.

“Tiny house land use law has to be well thought out so that we don’t wind up with a bunch of tiny houses crowded together in ways that are unattractive or potentially unsafe,” Evans said.



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John Rakoci (@guest_33598)
5 years ago

Cheap housing (note I did not say inexpensive) housing just as the single wide trailers of the 70s and 80s. Many of those on owned lots still survive today and are not an eyesore. Those in the trailer parks, many newer versions as well, have turned into ghetto encampments. Once past the initial move I doubt many will be as happy there as in their parents (or childrens) closet.

George (@guest_33474)
5 years ago

John, I found that Barnum most likely never made the quote
“There’s a sucker born every minute” nor did John Wayne make the quote “Life is hard; it’s even harder when you’re stupid” but both certainly apply. I love to take the back two lane highways and avoid the interstates but it’s way too hard on my rv let alone doing it with a tiny house. I need to stick to the interstates for the majority of my travels and take a detour of a few miles to seek out the unique little towns across the country.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_33468)
5 years ago

Nice comment, John. These ‘houses’ are not really meant to go down the road, except to get to the place you want to set them up. The TV show never mentions anything about water, electricity, or sewage. You just see the new owners and their friends ooohing and ahhhing over the ‘innovations’ and how great it is to live in a high dollar closet.

I really think there should be a TV show called “Where are they now?”, that chronicles the life of people who buy these ‘homes’, and also those who were on the show “Buying Alaska”, where people bought those homes way-out-there in Alaska’s wilderness. Usually kids from Florida who wanted the “Alaska Experience”.

John (@guest_33444)
5 years ago

I am amazed at the ignorance of the people who buy/build these. How long will they last on the streets and highways of America given the condition of the American infrastructure today. Look at the build quality – its not much better than the build quality of the current RV industry. The TV programs make them look so neat, but that is only skin deep. What did P. T. Barnum said about people?

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