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Jay Austin’s 140 Sq. Ft. ‘Matchbox’ Tiny Home (On Wheels)

In this post I’m introducing you to Jay Austin and his ‘Matchbox’ tiny home on wheels in Washington, D.C.’s Boneyard Studios.

According to the video, more than 1000 people decide to move into the area every single month therefore driving the cost of housing up and increasing construction in the area.

And even though they’re building as fast as they can, they still can’t keep up with the demand for housing in the area. So where do tiny houses stand?

Meet Jay Austin and His 140 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home


Images: YouTube/ReasonTV

Enjoy the rest of the story (in video) below:

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Images: YouTube/ReasonTV

Video: Jay Austin’s Beautiful, Illegal Tiny House

Texas Welcome to Tiny Homes? Yes.

And, according to the video, Houston, Texas is the only big city that doesn’t heavily govern your decisions on housing with zoning and regulations. In addition, it’s one of the most affordable cities in the country to live in.

“Property rights in Texas are sacred. You can do what you want to do with your property and I think most of the people here in Victoria want to protect that,” says Will Armstrong, former mayor of Victoria, Texas.

Original story: http://reason.com/blog/2014/08/09/jay-austins-beautiful-illegal-tiny-house


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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!
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Brook
    August 18, 2014, 8:53 pm

    A tip of the hat. The law be damned. A couple of weeks will find me relocated to my 100 s.f. home on wheels. It’s the best option that I have for achieving my goals. Good job mates.

    • Candide33
      August 19, 2014, 8:44 am

      Great news Brook, best wishes to you and your tiny home.

  • Candide33
    August 19, 2014, 9:03 am

    We are in the process of buying a large amount of property in Colorado and I am gonna make a tiny house campground on one side of it!! That’s the plan anyway but hubby has to build mine first. I have wanted a tiny house for like 10 years but my family thought I was joking.

    It was hard to find property that was not part of an HOA and I know that HOAs are just evil, type in HOA horror stories on youtube and there are almost 5 million videos.

    Most HOAs do not even let the actual homeowners in the meetings, they are owned and run by shady developers who only want to run up fines so they can foreclose on people and steal their houses.

    it is NOT the government you have to worry about, the zoning commission are angels compared to greedy land developers.

    • Alli
      August 23, 2014, 5:18 pm

      @Candide33-Very cool. Where in CO are you, if I may ask? Thanks! 🙂

  • Andrea
    August 19, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Comment on Houston is wrong – no zoning, but nearly every house is in an HOA run by evil control freaks. Big mistake to believe that you can do anything at all.

    • Alex
      August 19, 2014, 9:16 pm

      Gotcha. Good to know.

    • Nate Laurence
      June 25, 2015, 3:29 pm

      I live in Houston now and from what I’ve read there are not a lot of laws governing existing buildings on land, however for new construction depending on if you live in “incorporated” or “unincorporated” areas there are laws. I think this is why there are more tiny house ideas outside of city limits in unincorporated areas. If you live in an unincorporated area and it becomes incorporated in the future then your property is grandfathered in I believe.

  • Terri
    August 28, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Why does people just let other people do what they want instead of trying to control someone elses life–just control ur own life and live with what ever anyone else does..That care of you–and everyone else will do the same…

  • Elle
    September 3, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Here, here on the ‘HOA’ comments. As the victim…uh, owner of a home in two different HOAs (at different times) I can testify to the corruption-fest that is ‘the HOA’. In 2006 there were some vague laws passed in a few states to provide a little more oversight. Still for the most part they remain accountable to NO ONE. While allowing all the amenities and common grounds to deteriorate my last HOA ‘management’ company embezzled all of our reserves leaving us bankrupt. One of the misappropriations of homeowner’s money was traced to the owner of our ‘management company’ who used our reserves for his personal home improvements, landscaping, etc. He was even ID’d as the one who (using the keys we provide to them for ’emergencies’) went into someone’s home and among other things, stole a man’s rolex. In my HOA owners are still paying some of the highest HOA fees in the nation to restore our reserves -after we finally got rid of the former ‘management company’ and replaced the B0D. Unfortunately, the corrupt attorney managed to hang on and is still with us.

    It’s not just here where I live but a national epidemic. I’ve heard it referred to as the “BoD-Attorney-HOA Management Network”. And indeed they do work together like a well oiled machine. It’s not a problem here or there; it’s a national epidemic. It’s despicable.

    Those of us who tried to challenge the corruption were always met with, “Well, they’re only accountable to the homeowners.”. Wrong -they are literally accountable to no one. Knowing this, the ‘network’ made haste misappropriating, embezzling and filing frivolous law suits against homeowners while the sun shined knowing that one day someone might find a way to stop their goose from laying anymore golden eggs. I’m happy to be part of a movement to not only “stop” the corruption but to abolish HOA’s entirely.

    Homeowners were duly ‘punished’ for trying to right the wrongs with illegal liens put on their home, blatant extortion, falsifying owner’s HOA accounts to make it look like they’re dues had been late for a-year or they hadn’t paid their dues at all, then adding penalties, interest, late charges, etc. and suing you in court for a ‘debt’ that never existed. And this is just the tip of the iceberg in their bag of tricks. Thank goodness I keep all my own records.

    Sorry this is so long but to those even considering buying into an HOA, please heed every horror story you’ve ever heard. To say they’re “evil”, is an understatement. I’ve never been so eager to sell a house before in my life. Now that the market is picking up I can sell mine. I’ll live under a bridge before I ever buy into an HOA again.

    Again, sorry this is off-topic and long but then it has some relevance regarding one of the many reasons people (like me) are so desperate to sell -get the h*#! out of this HOA nightmare and build a little home on a little piece of land where no one can casually put a lien on my property in an attempt to illegally foreclose on it and then sell it for their own personal profit or tell me WTF color my front door will be or how high my fence can be. HOA’s -are- nothing short of a nightmare.

    That said, Jay your home is beautiful and I applaud your courage to stand up to a questionable system of “regulations” that have gone beyond what’s “good for the people” into making up and enforcing “regulations” not “for the good of….) but for revenue, and because a bunch of overpaid, underworked bureaucrats desperately need to justify their existence as our expense.

    The YouTube clip is a priceless wealth of information. Thank you for sharing your cozy home and this important, informative clip.

    Lastly -I promise, regarding the some of the specifics I noted about HOA ‘living’, read the book Homeowner’s Associations, A Dream or a Nightmare. Or go into Barnes and Nobles and have a peek at it then put it back. The book identifies the ‘management company’ I’m talking about (and can’t identify here) and some of their antics. We weren’t the first HOA to get rid of them. But they’re still going strong bankrupting HOAs and destroying lives across the nation -yes, this company is everywhere. It’s not a bad idea to learn about them since they are apparently untouchable and could end up in a neighborhood near you. If anyone proposes establishing an HOA in your neighborhood, fight it with everything you’ve got.

  • Lisa
    June 25, 2015, 9:28 pm

    I grew up in Victoria and my father still lives there. They are pretty lenient on what you can do with your property. Just stay away from the planned communities!

  • Varenikje
    June 26, 2015, 3:18 am

    I am getting a bit confused. Are zoning laws forbidding tiny houses everywhere? Doesn’t seem like it is where I live, but then I’ve not tried to build a house here either. Like, can’t a person buy a little land in the country and put their THOW on it?

  • Frank gatto
    June 29, 2015, 1:48 pm

    i’ve been following tiny home for sometime now but yet to see the inner hardware pipe electric water heater etc and priceing

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