≡ Menu

Backyard Tiny Houses Are Helping Solve California’s Housing Problem (And Beyond): Here’s How…


This is the story of how backyard tiny houses are helping to solve California’s housing problem, specifically in Clovis city where city planners have made it easier for homeowners to build a backyard tiny cottage on their current lot. Here’s how it works…

They are giving homeowners three house plans to choose from (for free). The designs are 400-square-feet or less and are only available to homeowners in the area who have a lot with access to an alleyway, which is common in Old Town Clovis. There are other perks and incentives, too. But what’s the catch? This is having an overall very positive impact on the community so it’s a win/win for the city and the homeowners. Do you think other townships should take notice of this strategy?

Please don’t miss other inspiring tiny house stories like this – join our FREE Tiny House Newsletter!

Clovis City, California Helping Homeowners Build Affordable Backyard Tiny Homes w/ their ‘Backyard Cottage Program’! Here’s How…

Backyard Tiny Houses Are Helping California's Housing Problem (And Beyond): Here's How... via Faircompanies

Images via Faircompanies/YouTube

As it turns out, doing this seems to be a win/win situation for everyone involved because these backyard units create an overall improvement to the community while also becoming a great asset to homeowners.

Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies

When these backyard alley tiny homes are built, everything just looks and feels better in the alleyways. They sort of help keep the alleyways tidy.

Plus they are giving some people in the area the opportunity to live affordably in this wonderful neighborhood.

Here’s an illustration of the concept after most homeowners take advantage of the incentives…

Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies

Do you like it?

This program is saving homeowners $9,000 to $10,000 in costs for plans, $3,000 in approval fees, and another $5,000 in water and sewage connection fees. So it’s saving current homeowners in the area up to $18,000 and encouraging them to build an affordable tiny home that they can also benefit from long-term.

Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies

Please share this story on your Facebook and pass it on to your friends via email!

Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies

And who knows, it may help inspire other city leaders to do the same!

Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies Backyard tiny houses helping Californias housing problem via Faircompanies

Images via Faircompanies/YouTube

Learn more:

Our big thanks to Faircompanies for sharing this story!🙏

You can share this using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more!

You can also join our Small House Newsletter!

Also, try our Tiny Houses For Sale Newsletter! Thank you!

More Like This: Tiny Houses | Small Houses | Communities

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

The following two tabs change content below.
Avatar

Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • March 27, 2019, 4:26 pm

    This goes back to the days right after WW II when GI’s were coming home and they and their families needed affordable housing. Aside from all the new suburban housing being built around and outside of major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, etc, the small single room and two small roomed bungalos were going up everywhere. Now these same termite ridden homes here in Southern California are selling for three quarters of a million dollars! If it weren’t so disgusting, I’d say that it was hilarious. But it’s NOT hilarious. It’s just sad.

    Tiny houses are just one of the solutions… that, and also choosing not to live in such horribly polluted mega-cities like Los Angeles. I have lived here in the L.A. area since 1983 and it is long past time to get the hell out of here. I grew up in small towns, and that’s where I want to return to as I get older. Trying to convince my wife to switch from wasting $25,000.00 a year on rent here in L.A. to moving to a more affordable state to a smaller town and living tiny or at least living off of the grid is the hard part. She actually LIKES living in the smog here. Translated, that means she likes the “warm” weather. Personally, I want OUT!

    • Avatar Karyl Clementi
      March 31, 2019, 9:27 pm

      Move to the southern US . We moved from NY to NC. 2 hours in either direction – the mountains or the beach. 4 seasons Always sunny. We love it here.

  • Avatar Lynn
    March 28, 2019, 12:30 am

    Kudos to the city of Clovis and its visionary leaders! Tiny homes solve housing problems by making home ownership affordable for more people. Their small footprint allows for better and more efficient land use. They use only a fraction of the energy it takes to heat and cool a 2,000 sf house. And when they’re added to existing lots on which a house already exists, tiny homes increase property values and thereby generate additional revenue for the municipality from property taxes. But unlike Clovis, too many cities still resist allowing tiny homes to be built, demanding instead that the minimum square footage be 1,000 sf or more, as my county does. Why? Why must people be compelled to build or buy a home that’s too large for their needs? Why does a nonsensical “code” requirement take precedence over common sense? Clovis is to be commended for its stance on tiny homes. It’s light years ahead of other areas by taking the lead in allowing tiny homes to be built and assisting people to obtain them. Other municipalities should take note and embrace the tiny home movement. There’s much to be gained and nothing to lose by doing so.

    • Avatar Kimberly Matic
      June 2, 2019, 2:02 am

      I so agree with you and I believe more and more people are asking why is this so difficult to make happen.
      I feel fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where the tiny home footprint is far more embraced. We aren’t there all the way but it’s becoming less of a challenge!

  • Avatar Karen Blackburn
    March 28, 2019, 3:51 am

    Where there is a minimum size of say 1000sqft is it possible to maybe build a house that can then be informally split with 2 bathrooms/toilets, maybe 4-6 small bedrooms, 2 larger living areas and a kitchen which could be split down the centre to make 2 smaller informal kitchens. If a proper agreement was drawn up and costs split evenly between maybe family members or long time friends with a similar outlook on small house living this could be a way around the building rules. Years ago we looked at a huge house built on a lake front (Swiss millionaire owner, boat houses, jetty, attic filled with model railways) and the basement area, which opened up onto the lower part of the garden, had a 3 bed flat/apartment complete with private, basic, kitchen(ette), the next floor had a larger kitchen with living and dining rooms, library, couple of bedrooms plus a small annex of a bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchenette all adapted for disabled use and the huge attic. This got round the planning laws by putting 2 separate residences inside the third main one and allowed his older teens their own place with their own entrance plus his mother her own private place as well. All could congregate in the main house for meals etc if they wanted to but they could also go for days on their own as well. Later it was rented out with the separate parts rented full time and the main part when the owner was living in Switzerland for half of every year. Have often wondered if this would be a possible solution to the big square footage requirements in so many US states.

  • Avatar Linda Baker
    March 28, 2019, 10:18 pm

    love this idea but unfortunately most suburban homes in Mi don’t have access to an alley – backyard home would have to be accessed from main driveway and with the garage in front and attached to the home houses that have been popular in the last decades this isn’t possible

    • Avatar James D.
      April 2, 2019, 1:54 am

      The idea is not limited to alleyways, it’s simply to make use of otherwise underutilized spaces…

      These just fall under ADU’s and an accessory dwelling unit is just a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home. Examples are apartments set over a garage, in a basement or in a backyard, which can be attached or unattached to the primary residence on the property.

      So there’s lots of ways it can be done…

  • Avatar Dick
    April 1, 2019, 8:48 pm

    I love the idea, but as Linda said, not all cities have alleys that make this idea possible. In this Oklahoma town, there are a few alleys, but very few homes on those alleys; if anything, there are apartments built over a garage.

    One thing that wasn’t made clear on the Clovis website was whether those homes had to be occupied by family members of the property owner or whether they could be built and sold to anyone who wanted them. I like the plans, but for us, two bedrooms would be mandatory.

  • Avatar Sheila Plourde
    April 9, 2019, 5:21 pm

    Backyard homes? Who benefits to rent or buy these? I was assuming they were meant to help homeless people. My bad. They look nice though.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next post:

Older post: