|Tent City Urbanism: From Self Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages by Andrew Heben||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sharon Villines via groups.io (sharon=sharonvillines.comgroups.io)|
|Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2020 12:51:26 -0800 (PST)|
Sometimes I find a book I just love. This is one of them. The author writes based on his professional and living experience with tent cities and tiny houses, and discusses the community that develops with housing stability and self-management. He also details some of the negative effects of the political and economic influences that come along with getting government approval and financing. He is also a founder of the American Tiny House Association. He designed and built his own 384 SF house where he lives with his partner and their baby. Heben now develops Tiny House Villages with SquareOne Villages, a non-profit organization in Oregon creating self-managed communities of cost-effective tiny homes for people in need of housing. https://www.squareonevillages.org For this book he traveled across the US to study over a dozen tent cities organized by the homeless, mostly illegal, and spent time living at one in Ann Arbor, Michigan known as Camp Take Notice. If you are trying to build low income housing, starting with camps and tent cities you can work up instead of thinking middle class and trying to work down. Those that have become legal to some extent stayed in place formed communities with governance structures, behavioral norms (no drugs, no guests after 10:00, etc.) And built a common house with showers and a kitchen. One community was required to move every 3 months but they did it and stayed together. (Tiny houses installed on concrete pillars (short) can be fairly easily moved.) Some communities he discusses are non-profit organizations and others have some government support. The essential feature is that they are self-governed and function like cohousing. Some are quite large — 100 residents. He includes a lot of information about dealing with zoning and government agencies, not always for funding but for permission to exist on unused city land, church grounds, etc. One process for dealing with zoning that I first thought would be unhelpful for cohousing is to start by forming a non-profit organization of advocates and volunteers. It helps the community organizers obtain zoning approval and building permits. The advocates also explain the project to the city and neighbors. Advocates can be local leaders, construction experts, city planners, etc. who also bring their reputations and contacts to the project. Many people see cohousing as an exciting project that they want to be more involved with even though they have no idea of living in it. The book is filled with ideas and real-life stories, and a sample plan for building and governing a tiny house village. The site plans look like cohousing with common houses, community gardens, house clusters, etc. Important to me, he also talks of “intimate democracy,” learning how to function democratically with the people in the next tent. He stresses this as a primary value and for tent cities it would also helpful in convincing city agencies that this is a community designed for the public good. Not another lawless encampment of drunks on welfare. He also give comparative costs of city/state run shelters and housing compared to self-governed, self-sufficient communities. I was shocked to find out how much city-built projects cost per living unit. It was published in 2014 so these are out of date but the ratios are probably still relevant. Available as a used book and from the author’s website. Or the Village Collaborative. https://www.villagecollaborative.net/book I bought a used copy from ABE Books but it turned out to have a lot of underlining, starred paragraphs, and circled words. Grrrrr. So I just ordered a new one. I wanted my own. Highly recommended for furthering the cause of affordable cohousing for all. Sharon ——— Sharon Villines http://affordablecohousing.com affordablecohousing [at] groups.io To subscribe: affordablecohousing+subscribe [at] groups.io
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