Three Big Tiny House Advocacy Updates
Did you know tiny house living is not legal everywhere? I you’ve been following us, you probably already aware of this. Due to restrictive zoning and building codes, tiny houses are not officially allowed most places.
There are tiny house advocates in pretty much every state working to change that. And today we are sharing exciting news and important calls-to-action.
Washington State Senate Bill 5383: APPROVED!
The Washington State Congress passed a historic tiny house bill, 95-0. It creates practical provisions for placement of tiny houses on wheels within community settings. It was sponsored by Senator Hans Zeiger, and is far-reaching and multifaceted. Most importantly it legitimizes THOWs as permanent dwellings.
We all know of the need for more affordable housing in our state and we desperately need new housing options. This is a new housing option. It is not one that is going to deliver us completely from our affordable housing crisis, that’s for sure.
-Senator Hans Zeiger, sponsor of SB 5383
One of the groundbreaking aspects of the SB 5383 is that it states that cities and counties should not, directly or indirectly, discriminate against consumers’ choices in the placement or use of homes, in such a manner not equally applicable to all homes. Though, it also removes liability risk from the municipalities. Also, the bill adopts basic safety standards, including the IRC Tiny House Appendix Q.
The Washington Tiny House Association was the grassroots advocacy leader behind this victory, made possible by the broad support from many state congressmen and the sincere dedication of Senator Zeiger. As a final step, the bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Inslee.
From here, local advocates are setting their sights on the two other state bills addressing tiny house placement in urban and rural settings. These include THOWs and tiny homes on a foundation.
Senate Bill 5382: would allow for tiny houses as detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) inside designated Urban Growth Areas.
Senate Bill 5384: would allow for tiny houses placement in rural settings, like vineyards and farms, outside of Urban Growth Areas.
Across Cascadia, high rents and home prices are leaving people behind. Local governments struggle to meet this massive challenge of politics and funding. In response, this year Washington state legislators are stepping up with a remarkably comprehensive suite of housing bills.
-Todd McKellip, Founder of Washington Tiny House Association
Follow Washington Tiny House Association’s website and Facebook page for updates.
Great Barrington, MA: Considering THOWs as ADUs
The Great Barrington Planning Board is considering allowing movable tiny houses (aka tiny houses on wheels) as ADUs. Good news! Looks like it should pass with no opposition at the beginning of May. THOW will need be licensed with DMV and meet ANSI standards—RV building code.
Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey that she feels tiny houses are a good affordable housing option. She has signed the Nantucket, MA zoning bylaw allowing tiny houses, so we will likely sign this one as well, if it passes at the town’s annual meeting, 5/5.
Local advocates with the American Tiny House Association and B&B Micro Manufacturing are hosting a tiny house at before annual meeting in support of the proposed zoning amendment.
Attend the Meeting and Open House: details available here.
Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village (TX): back on track?
The first community of it’s kind— tiny house on wheels only village, inside city limits. It utilizes the IRC Tiny House Appendix Q with an additional tie-down requirement. While originally approved in 2017, it hit a significant snag after their groundbreaking in February. The new City Manager decided out of the blue that the Developer needed a grading permit and other random hoops to jump through. Pushback on these unreasonable “requirements” ultimately resulted in the Mayor stepping in to broker a compromise. It now looks the Village is back on track to open this summer, if the City Council promptly approves the site plan, again.
Attend the City Council to Show Your Support!
It's official: The Lake Dallas City Council will hold a public hearing on the Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9. This will include possible (hopefully) approval of our Site Plan and amending the Planned Development ordinance to allow residents to have a storage building no larger that 48 square feet if they desire to have one.
If these items are approved we can officially begin construction to include utilities and the washateria.
Thank you to Mayor Michael Barnhart and Mayor Pro Tem Andi Nolan for helping to speed up the process by a couple of weeks. Originally this public hearing was to take place May 23.
Please join us that evening!
-Terry Lantrip, developer of Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village
The Village will have 13 spots, each $500-550/month. One is still available!
Tiny House SURVEY: please help!
Our friend and Colorado-based advocate, Emily Gerde is gathering information to use in a presentation to local municipalities, states, and even nationwide on how to include tiny housing. This is for EVERYONE, not just those who want to live tiny. The results will be anonymous and will be available on her website www.mindfulminimalistmama.com and at https://americantinyhouseassociation.org. Thank you and please share!
Stay up-to-date with the latest advocacy efforts on our advocacy news page, and watch our documentary series to learn more about why tiny house laws matter.
-Alexis Stephens, co-founder of Tiny House Expedition