UK charity The Homeless Foundation has come up with its own modular tiny house to assist people transitioning out of homelessness. A prototype of the 186-square-foot iKozie was recently installed in the back garden of a full-size house the group owns in Worcester. Set on a shallow foundation, it’s currently being fitted out for single occupancy and has a waiting list to move in. Unsurprisingly – the iKozie is quite well-designed and, for a house of this size, full-featured. It has separate spaces for the living room and bedroom, a tiny but full kitchen (which even contains a washing machine), a bathroom module, and a surprising amount of storage (much of it in the most logical place for it, the bedroom). The house cost about £40,000 ($54,000), comparable to the higher-end tiny houses for the homeless we’ve seen in Duluth and Detroit. Given the UK’s insane property market, it’s probably even more of a bargain over there – and given the iKozie’s functionality, The Homeless Foundation could probably ship a few of these to the States and sell them at a profit. (If you want to send a few bucks their way in the meantime, you can make donations here.)
The iKozie is easily delivered by truck…
…and, for tight spaces, crane.
The steel-framed house features larch siding, a corrugated iron roof, and enough insulation to give it an ‘A’ energy efficiency rating – and the occupant a quiet night’s sleep.
The bathroom module is behind the couch; in front of it, a divider holds the TV and separates the area from the kitchen.
The designers admit that the bed’s a bit short, but say it was a compromise they had to make to get adequate storage space.
Tiny house activism has usually meant non-confrontational efforts to reform building codes and zoning regulations, but now a group called the Tiny House Warriors is using tiny houses to take a direct-action approach to a much more controversial issue.
They’re members of the indigenous Secwepemc Nation, and they’re aiming to place ten tiny houses in the path of a pipeline proposed to pass through their land in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Their leader, Kanahus Manuel, says the Secwepemc haven’t consented to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and don’t want it due to the potential for environmental damage. She’s hoping that having people living along the proposed route will provide additional leverage for stopping the project. (Secwepemc Nation territory, like much of British Columbia, is rather sparsely populated.)
Kanahus, along with her four children, stayed in a tiny house for several months while participating in the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She realized that tiny houses would be a relatively easy way of occupying threatened land, and that small structures would also make good sites for cultural activities like language camps and traditional tattooing.
With financial support from Greenpeace Canada, which also opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Tiny House Warriors started building the first of their tiny houses on September 7, 2017. They’re planning to finish the other nine within the month to coincide with the beginning of work on the pipeline. Will they make it? Well, as the photos below show, tiny house builds go pretty fast when you have enough people helping!
Tesla, Inc., formerly Tesla Motors and still best known for its electric cars, is also big into R&D for batteries and solar panels. That was bound to have tiny house implications eventually, and now the company has made the link a little more obvious with a THOW of its own. The 20-foot Tesla Tiny House will be touring Australia (behind a Tesla Model X, naturally), showcasing six of Tesla’s solar panels and one of their 14 kWh slimline Powerwall batteries. It’s even fitted with a charger for the Model X, although it’s unclear if the house will be able to supply all of the car’s power needs. Visitors will also be able to use a design facility to learn how Tesla products can power their own homes. That focus – on using renewable energy for standard-sized houses – is hardly unreasonable given that Australia already has the highest percentage of residential solar power users in the world. However, it means that Tesla hasn’t bothered to make this into anything resembling a livable tiny house; there’s nothing inside but a showroom. Now, we’re totally onboard with anything that promotes clean, renewable energy – but wouldn’t it have been great to see a fully functional THOW tricked out with the latest in photovoltaic and Li-ion tech?
It looks like the Model X is getting a little more attention than the house just now!
The Powerwall (center) and the car charger (lower right) are mounted on the front end.
The steel-framed THOW has locally-sourced sustainable wood siding and a fold-out balcony.
Famed tiny house movement pioneer Jay Shafer, who’s been heading up the Four Lights Tiny House Company since 2012, has a new project underway. It’s called Tiny Houses for Humanity, and its goal is to establish a series of small, affordable, child-friendly tiny house villages in the Bay Area. Jay’s working with River King, a local resident he met two years ago after she was reduced to sleeping in her car with her two-year-old son due to the lack of affordable housing nearby. Aside from his name recognition, Jay is providing the house designs, which are modified, more efficient versions of some of the smaller Four Lights models. They’ll cost about $20,000 to build and will allow some degree of customization for individual preferences. River is coordinating the effort, looking for a site and for people who can help with the construction. Habitat for Humanity, Sonoma State University’s JUMP community service program, and even a few high school shop classes have expressed interest. Sonoma County officials seem inclined to give everything a green light, too. Jay and River are planning an initial 5–6 house village with a common area and garden, and they estimate they’ll need about $100,000 for materials and landscaping. They’ve already raised over $22,500 on the crowdfunding site Hatchfund; you can show your support (and get an autographed copy of Jay’s Small House Book) by helping them reach the target by September 26.
For $285 you’ll get a 1/2″ drill/driver, a 1/4″ hex impact driver, a reciprocating saw, and a circular saw. All run on two powerful included 18V batter packs.
Here’s why this deal is so insanely good – together these tools would run you around $650. This combo has never sold for less than $500. Heck, the reciprocating saw sells for $267 by itself, so you’re basically getting the other three tools for $18.
So if you’ve been thinking to yourself, “I should start rounding up some tools so I can build things” this is probably a good place to start. Whether you’re a contractor or just getting your feet wet with basic DIY stuff, this is a deal you likely won’t see again.
David Cameron may have left office in ignominy over the Brexit botch, but he’s found a very classy way to join the tiny house movement. It’s a 16×7 wheeled garden shed from Red Sky Shepherds Huts of Oxfordshire, and it cost £25,000 ($32,000) after customization with options like painted wood siding, hardwood stable doors, a Salamander woodstove, and a pull-out double sofa bed. David’s wife, Samantha, chose the design upgrades and the Farrow & Ball paint scheme in colors listed as Clunch, Old White and Mouse’s Back. More standard features include timber-frame construction, sheep’s wool insulation, and tongue-and-groove pine walls inside (base price is £16,500/$21,000).
David looks awfully pleased with his purchase. He’s planning to write his memoirs inside – if he can keep it away from his children…
David with Red Sky owner Paul Bennett, who built the hut with his son Adam. Hard to say who’s prouder!
It takes a village to make a village. The Georgetown Tiny House Village, which will accommodate homeless families, is the fruit of a collaboration among the city of Seattle, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), the Nickelsville homeless community, and the Tulalip Tribes. The city supplied the land and regulatory permission for the village, which will be the fourth such project in Seattle; LIHI is providing support; Nickelsville will serve as property manager; and members of the Tribes’ construction pre-apprenticeship program built the first three houses. Eventually there will be 40 tiny houses at the site, as well as a kitchen tent and communal restrooms. The houses themselves apparently won’t contain cooking or bathroom facilities, but as local churchman Steve Tucker pointed out to KIRO 7 News, they do “have electricity and a lock on the door,” and are thus significant a step up from the tents utilized in many homeless encampments.
Kansas City nonprofit Veterans Community Project has created a 50-unit tiny house village where homeless veterans will be able to live rent free. Food and other necessities will also be provided, and counseling and classes at an outreach center on the next block will help residents get their lives back on track. The village is funded by donations from organizations and individuals (you can make one here), and the VCP seems to be spending the money very wisely. Their cost for each house is only about $10,000, and while they’re neither large nor fancy they do include perfectly serviceable kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as climate control.
Apis Cor, a company with offices in San Francisco, Moscow and Irkutsk, has developed a mobile construction 3D printer and used it to create the world’s first house printed onsite. The 400-square-foot building was completed within 24 hours and cost just over $10,000. Nikita Chen-yun-tai, Apis Cor’s founder and the inventor of the printing device, hopes that his printer will help bring high-quality affordable housing to people worldwide. It’s also an ecofriendly technique that uses just 8 kW of power, produces zero construction waste, and greatly reduces transportation-related carbon emissions versus factory-built prefabs.
The house was made outside of Moscow in December, and while the printer will work just fine in subzero temperatures, concrete won’t – hence the tent you see overhead.
Now that it’s finished, though, the structure is projected to last for 175 years in any weather.
The unusual shape is actually a demonstration of possibilities rather than limitations – Apis Cor’s machine can print a standard rectangular house just as easily.
Samsung Electronics provided the appliances, including one of their curved screen TVs – which just happened to have the same radius of curvature as the house!
They might not look like it, but these gently rolling hills are actually within the city limits of Pendleton, Oregon. They’ve been divided into 51 three-to-six-thousand-square-foot lots as Pendleton Estate Phase 2, and the lots are now for sale starting at $14,900. Utilities are all set up, permits have been issued, and you can build (or park) tiny houses here, with no minimum square footage. (Mobile homes, on the other hand, are not allowed.)
The highway will take you across the state to Portland in about three-and-a-half hours.
Pendleton itself is a town of 17,000 on the Umatilla River and close to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It’s home to the Oregon East Symphony and has its own Center For The Arts.