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Tiny Homes for the Homeless in San Jose Wins Approval!

SAN JOSE — A plan to build “tiny homes” for San Jose’s homeless residents passed its first major test Tuesday, and now the city must answer the most difficult question — where to put these micro sleeping cabins.1

After a heated debate, the City Council voted 9-2 to approve a yearlong pilot program to build one tiny home village comprised of 40 units. Elected leaders by next month will come up with three potential sites for the tiny homes and eventually want to place a tiny home village in each of the city’s 10 City Council districts.1

© Gensler/City of San Jose

© Gensler/City of San Jose

Read the full article over at Mercury News.


  1. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/12/tiny-homes-for-san-joses-homeless-wins-approval-after-heated-debate/
  2. Images courtesy of Gensler/City of San Jose)

Our big thanks to Peter Christiansen for sharing!

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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!
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Glanda
    December 13, 2017, 3:38 pm

    The only thing that bothers me is that the firm being hired to build these wants over $70,000 each. They could hire a tiny house builder who knows what he is doing, and out of state, to make the little places 80-140 sq ft with more amenities for less than half that, including transport. And naturally everyone says not near me. So sad. The homeless already live near you, you just refuse to see them. But the idea is a good start.

    • James D.
      December 15, 2017, 12:15 am

      Glanda, completely agree…

  • Sally
    December 13, 2017, 3:51 pm

    I live in San Jose so I’m delighted to hear this. The problem of where to locate is tricky and I hope the plan to put one in each district happens.

    • Alex
      December 13, 2017, 7:19 pm

      This is good news for sure!

  • Alison
    December 13, 2017, 5:41 pm

    If land costs are the main barrier to affordable housing, tiny houses are not the best solution. They may be attractive and appealing, but you could serve more people with the same footprint if you went up a couple stories. These may have the benefit of being portable. But if the residents have no where to port them, that’s not much of a benefit. I’m in favor of looking at all options, and these may be ideal for some situations. It might work if they site them on small in-fill lots that are going unused. But I am skeptical about these being the most cost effective solution for urban homeless people.

    • James D.
      December 13, 2017, 10:15 pm

      Tiny Houses aren’t limited to just individual stand alone units but there’s work around solutions even for those that are…

      For example, you could convert a multi-story parking structure and take advantage of both underground and above ground levels for increased capacity with still minimum land footprint…

  • Erick
    December 13, 2017, 11:52 pm

    I work my tail off, will San Jose give me a tiny home and the land to put it on? I could never afford a home in San Jose, I am a Veteran, I don’t use drugs or drink. Will San Jose or any city help me and spend 100,00’s of thousands on me? Throwing money at homeless only begets more homeless. I live near Disneyland, you should see the 100os of homeless now that Anaheim lets them live in the shadows of Disneyland. You should see the filth and trash this will happen to the homeless village, the home will end up so disgusting they will have to be torn down. Worst idea ever.

    • James D.
      December 15, 2017, 12:22 am

      Depends how it is done… You are right that simply throwing money at the problem won’t solve it but there are ways to make it work and we have examples from the villages up in Washington and Oregon that are proving successful but it just remains to be seen if California can follow their example or not…

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