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Tiny House Village in Albuquerque


This is a tiny house village designed as transitional housing for those currently experiencing homelessness.

The goal is for the village to help residents become self-sufficient through the offerings at the village. It’s located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Currently, they are not accepting new applicants until March 1, 2021. According to their website, there is already an extensive resident waiting list.

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First Residents Moving Into New Tiny House Village in Albuquerque

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Images via YouTube/KRQE

The city has been able to set up the village thanks to a land lease from the Albuquerque Indian Center.

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Images via YouTube/KRQE

We think all cities should look into setting up communities like this!

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Images via YouTube/KRQE

A tiny house village for those in need. What could be more right?

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Images via Bernco.gov

The village will consist of 30 individual tiny homes.

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Images via Bernco.gov

There is a central community center for the residents to enjoy.

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Images via Bernco.gov

This is the layout for the village.

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Images via Bernco.gov

Each tiny house is 120-sq.-ft.

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Images via Bernco.gov

The tiny homes are equipped with a bed, wardrobe, desk, and windows.

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Images via Bernco.gov

You can see how the first phase of the village was built below.

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Images via Bernco.gov

It looks like they used SIP panels to build the tiny homes, doesn’t it?

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Images via Bernco.gov

Wouldn’t it be great if we could inspire more tiny house villages like this to be built?

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Images via Bernco.gov

The first several tiny homes of the village. 🙂

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Images via Bernco.gov

The community center.

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Images via Bernco.gov

Each home also has electricity and air conditioning units.

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Images via Bernco.gov

Watch the videos and check out the links below to learn more.

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Images via Bernco.gov

VIDEO: Tiny Home Village Now Open, First Residents…

VIDEO: Tiny Home Village Project in Bernalillo County

Highlights

  • Tiny home village in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness
  • Financial donations accepted for the village here

Learn more

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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!
{ 32 comments… add one }
  • David Pedersen
    February 27, 2021, 4:23 pm

    The houses are way too close together. It can end up being a firetrap, if one of them have a mishap.

    • Alison
      February 27, 2021, 6:25 pm

      Better than the tents and makeshift lean-tos that the people are living in now, I imagine.

      • Comet
        February 27, 2021, 7:07 pm

        Even better if the future RESIDENTS build them, learn valuable skills and earn pride and equity. Then they can use those skills to make a living and move up, leaving the tiny rooms– these are NOT houses!!– for others to live in, some of whom may not be able to work on homes in a physical way. And — steps?? No ramps??? Le sigh.

        • James D.
          February 27, 2021, 8:29 pm

          Like Alison already pointed out, this is for transitional living to help people struggling to return to regular homes.

          But as to being houses, they are… Houses can be as simple as three walls and a roof. People have historically, and in other parts of the world still do, lived in basic homes with additional structures serving needs and sharing of resources.

          Sure, lacks some modern conveniences but it works and nothing wrong with it for transitional solutions that need to use resources efficiently to help the most people.

          Like you said, they can build upon it over time and we can see more permanent solutions but this is still a start and everything has to start somewhere…

        • Alison
          February 27, 2021, 10:56 pm

          I looked closely at the diagram that’s on the linked site, and I think four of the units have ramps (two sets of two, with shared ramps). There’s a ramp to the shared building in the center.

    • James D.
      February 27, 2021, 8:03 pm

      These are foundation built structures, which means they had to build to code and that includes fire safety standards for residential homes. So won’t burn that easily, fire retardant materials, metal roof, fire extinguishers, etc, and spread would be slow, giving plenty of time to evacuate… The community is also monitored and has three tiers of security. So unlikely to ever get out of hand unless it’s intentional arson…

      • David Pedersen
        February 28, 2021, 7:14 am

        James D. Yes, US codes that is. That would never be accepted here, since you need at least 5 m here – if build in bricks. But with wood, you need at least 10 m. It looks like there is only a couple of m between some of them. If one catches fire and there is wind, it will spread to the next house.

        • James D.
          February 28, 2021, 7:51 am

          You’re talking about raw materials of buildings that don’t use the same building codes as you would have within densely populated towns and cities, but there’s multiple ways to engineer around those limitations to provide the needed fire resistance that the code requires of even buildings physically connected to each other. People living in high density areas, such as cities with apartment complexes, etc. deal with this all the time and that’s all over the world…

          Besides, I gave a list of reasons why fires there are extremely unlikely to happen and why the buildings won’t just burn or be allowed to for any significant length of time.

          These are not homes being left alone out in the wilderness with no protection whatsoever and fire risks all around them but very much the opposite of that and have even a lower risk of fire than normal…

  • Joyce Rader
    February 27, 2021, 4:49 pm

    A 10×12 room is not enough space for me. These are ‘sleeping rooms’ by many standards. Sure you can add a microwave and refrigerator and call it a home. But I am not quite that minimalistic to make these spaces my home. The idea is great for limited income or even the homeless. Come to think of it…this idea is great for college students who want their own space without feeling they are in a dormitory setting.

    • Jennifer Jacka
      March 1, 2021, 1:16 am

      Which is good since that’s exactly what these are for.

    • jerry dycus
      March 5, 2021, 8:06 pm

      Add 4 more ‘ for kitchen, bath and it’s exactly what I live in very well thank you.
      And only cost $4k to build with new materials because so simple stick built wood, metal roof, insulated either slab or wood floor.
      What I like about these is SIP building, the smart fast way for most as so much cheaper, better and contracting it yourself save the 50-75% developer’s cut.
      The SIP company has can certify, supply plans for code, permits. I hope to build some SIP THs like this that as modules can be combined for a larger home or expand later as needed.
      And will have optional solar, water collection and sewage system to be completely independent..

  • Art Carlson
    February 27, 2021, 5:17 pm

    Do these units have bathrooms? No mention of them was made. 120-sq ft doesn’t leave much for that!

    • Alison
      February 27, 2021, 6:15 pm

      I clicked on the link to burnco.gov and found a diagram of the development. There are shared bathrooms at either end of the central area. Also a shared kitchen. The place is not meant for long term living, but as transitional housing for homeless people.

      • CATHERINE ELIZABETH GUY
        March 1, 2021, 11:06 am

        A shared bathroom? People would really have to be desperate to go out in the middle of the night to use this. How much more would it have cost to put a small toilet, shower and sink in each unit?

        • Alison
          March 1, 2021, 11:24 am

          It would probably cost a lot. Pipes and fixtures to 30 units has to be way more costly than two centralized facilities with a total of ten toilets. I don’t think these units are meant to be particularly comfortable, just safe. They are only a step in a process for people going from homelessness to a healthier self-sufficiency.

        • James D.
          March 1, 2021, 2:14 pm

          Kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive parts of a house. You can check realtor sites to find that just adding a bathroom to an existing house, with a room already available for it and can tap to existing infrastructure, would cost between $5000 to $35,000. Actually adding an addition, making more room for a bathroom, etc. would be more like $20,000 to $50,000.

          However, that doesn’t cover the cost of infrastructure if the property isn’t already developed and has city connections conveniently nearby, as then the costs can skyrocket, and costs can also multiply the more complex the infrastructure has to be… City permits and an inspection will also be required for each unit as well, among other expenses…

          Add higher long term costs and you’re looking at a very big difference in what would be needed to be budgeted. Even just the utility costs for water, sewer, etc. would be higher running to each dwelling unit rather than a central hub, and that extends to other costs like maintenance, etc.

          Then there’s how having a bathroom and/or kitchen can increase other costs because you would then be putting more wear and tear on each dwelling unit and that will also add to the long term maintenance costs, etc.

          There’s also the issue of the total size of the village, as the bigger you make each dwelling unit then the less units you can fit on the property, as well as possibly impact other aspects like the garden spaces, etc.

          Communal sharing of spaces is less convenient but it’s much more efficient use of resources, which is advantageous to help the most number of people at a time and the more important goal of transitioning them to more permanent housing.

          Mind, as well, this effort also has to be sustainable in order to keep on helping people on an ongoing basis. So they have to watch their operational costs, which covers much more than just the housing…

  • Linda Baker
    February 27, 2021, 5:55 pm

    This concept is a life saver for those in need of shelter and a safe place to live – bathrooms and running water would be great but infrastructure is expensive

  • Jeffrey
    February 27, 2021, 7:27 pm

    1. there is no washroom in each unit.
    2. how to satisfy the city building code, on the foundation, and on the wheels are big differences.
    3. the good is to give homeless people a safe and clean place to sleep.
    4. no visitor can stay overnight in each unit.

  • Redman
    February 27, 2021, 8:27 pm

    Often, these projects cost more than simply buying housing on the open market. It’s the same with so-called affordable housing. Smaller doesn’t mean cheaper or even practical. Camper trailers with central water and sewer hookups might have proven to be more practical and cost-effective.

  • Donna Rae
    February 27, 2021, 8:39 pm

    I agree that it is better than living on the street in a tent or under some cardboard but don’t those in need deserve a couple more basics? My first suggestion would be a bathroom. Looks like they would have to go outside and walk somewhere if they had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And a tiny kitchen with a mini-fridge and microwave would be nice. If you are trying to build confidence and a feeling of normalcy in preparation for a better future, shouldn’t they be able to cook or even take a shower? Again, what they have built is a lot better than a tent but with just a little more space…4 more feet…they could have something that actually feels a bit like a regular home.

    • James D.
      February 27, 2021, 10:20 pm

      I understand the frustration but there are some things, in my opinion, to consider, like making the units larger would reduce the total number of units they could have there and that would reduce the number of people they could help at a time, which in turn would increase the time people would have to wait to get help and increase the chances they will fall through the cracks in the system and never be helped or it will come too late for them…

      There are also limits to resources and the question becomes what is the most efficient use of those resources. Making temporary housing that is like permanent housing, which will reduce resources to then create permanent housing, or keep resources free to make permanent housing that people can then transition to from the temporary housing? Arguably, it’s the later as that’s the ultimate goal and the former would add the question of whether people would be as motivated to transition to permanent housing if there were less reasons for that to make a difference in their lives…

      While it’s not like they can’t cook or take a shower. Having to go to a separate building to do them is a bit less convenient but still far better than having nothing as the alternative. Mind, on the flip side of that inconvenience is no one has to do all the work for keeping it clean and maintained, as everything is shared and so too is the work. So people can have more time to themselves that they can use for recovering and getting to the point they can transition to permanent housing quicker…

      There’s also the issue of the reasons some people can be in these situations. Such as drug abuse, mental illness, etc. that being too isolated and less communal could make recovery harder for them. Things like the shared gardens, kitchens, etc. allows for a sense a community that has been largely forgotten in regular homes where people may not even know who their neighbors are and may rarely even see them in passing.

      Especially, people who may have no family, a community lifestyle can provide emotional support they would not get otherwise.

      Transitional can encompass many things and some of them can arguably be better suited for people in certain situations than others and brings into question who needs the most help and whether just having a home is enough of a solution or must there be more to make it really work for those who need the most help but also whether it has to be many different things for the different people, less we continue to leave a percentage of people without any support…

      That’s my perspective on it in any case. I believe this solution, while not ideal, is still something that will be helping people to eventually get to the ideal and can help people who may not otherwise gotten the right kind of help they would have needed…

  • Sheila
    February 27, 2021, 9:22 pm

    Wish they would follow their plan in Bakersfield, CA as of tonight the Eviction Moratorium is Unconstitutional and we will be seeing the largest evictions in US History. Sad that it is our Govts fault. A lot of homeless in Bakersfield they had a plan to do tiny homes. Yet they take their time. These are cute but not safe being so close to each other. Am sure they have bathrooms. Kitchen?

    • Eric
      February 27, 2021, 10:03 pm

      Why are they not safe? SIP construction is very safe and not prone to catching fire. Bathrooms and Kitchen are communal.

      It is transitional housing. So short term until the residents can find more appropriate accommodation. I applaud these homes. It’s a start.

      • February 28, 2021, 2:23 am

        One way they’re not safe is being as close together as they are. If a fire breaks out in one home, it definitely will at least damage the two homes next to it.

        • James D.
          February 28, 2021, 3:35 am

          That’s usually accounted for in fire safety building code standards. Adjoining or nearby walls have to be fire resistance rated for one to two hours, depending on the local code, which may also require secondary systems like sprinklers, etc…

          Understand to actually avoid the risk of fire spreading from one structure to another they have to be 60-100 feet apart but that’s not practical for housing. It’s a risk that all moderate to high density areas have to deal with as part of life there and why fire safety is part of the residential building codes.

          However, in this case, there’s a list of reasons that a fire risk is extremely unlikely. The SIPs would be treated with fire retardants, the structure has elements like the concrete foundation, patio, and metal roof that won’t burn. It would be standard to have an extinguisher in or nearby each dwelling. Plus it’s a monitored community with three tier security system that can quickly call the local police and other emergency services. So extremely unlikely a fire would go unnoticed to the point it becomes a threat to the community and they’re not remote, which means help is only minutes away.

          There’s also the question of what can possibly start a fire. Remember, the kitchen is a separate building. The homes are well insulated and would be conditioned with both built in heating and cooling. So no need for space heaters or anything else that could possibly be a fire risk. The residents are also required to help keep everything clean and neat, along with being required to follow certain rules like no drugs or alcohol on the premises. So there wouldn’t be any trash, litter, combustibles, etc. that could pose a risk either.

          They probably have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than having to worry about fire, let alone one that would be allowed to grow to dangerous proportions and spread. So people there would probably be safer than they would be in most regular houses…

  • February 28, 2021, 2:21 am

    Uh, emphatic NO! I don’t want to live that close to people. My current single family home is closer to my neighbors than I like, but definitely not as close as these tiny homes.

  • Bob H.
    February 28, 2021, 11:06 am

    More like tiny room village, over $ 3,000,000 estimated construction. You could have provided real houses

    • James D.
      February 28, 2021, 2:15 pm

      Given they easily spend over a hundred times that on actual traditional housing projects… Not really, affordable housing projects can run hundreds of million on up… Places like California, for example, a single apartment complex price breakdown typically comes to around $900,000 per apartment, let alone houses for an idea of how much it can actually take to develop housing. Nationally, according to HUD, the cost to develop affordable housing can run over $300,000 per house… Assuming they don’t make any changes from last year, the HUD budget for 2021 should still be around $47.9 billion to address housing and homelessness issues across the country and that’s considered not enough to address everything, and doesn’t include what local state governments are spending… Just to have some perspective on where $3 million for this project stands in comparison to what’s considered normal…

      Sure, the government is massively inefficient but that’s the system they all have to work in to get approval, etc.

      Besides, understand this particular project includes services and not just a place to live. It functions as a secure gated community for people who need more extensive help with counseling, job training, assisted living, etc. So a large part of that budget is for actually providing the systems that will be helping the people transition their lives and not just leaving them to their own devices and wishing them luck with just a roof over their heads and then have fewer resources to give to other people who would still be out there needing help…

      So they’re doing more than just giving people a temporary place to live there and addressing the problem that there’s a lot of people who need more help to actually make a difference in their lives…

  • christian Howard wilson
    February 28, 2021, 11:25 am

    I personally think that this is a far better way of assisting transitional homeless people into society and assisting them in getting ahead. There are drawbacks, but this is the beginning of housing for the working poor homeless. We in Baltimore are building homes that the working poor can own and in the process we have learned that in many cases that most young homeless people with children are just facing the issue of high rent and inability to afford a home. Our homes are small by U.S. standards, but have a full kitchen with washer/dryer combination, full bathroom, full bedroom and living area with the ability to convert it to a bedroom at the end of the day. It is 320 square feet and the prospective owner gets to purchase it for $25,000, land included, fully furnished. It has a wrap around porch that will allow the residents to enjoy the outside during the summer and sufficient land to have a small garden, if they elect. However, this project is brilliant as it opens up decent facilities for the homeless while they get their lives together. I think it is great and applaud the city for even thinking of doing this. Shelters are not the answer and these houses give the homeless an opportunity that is unique and frankly wonderful.

  • Jennifer Jacka
    March 1, 2021, 1:20 am

    I think it’s great. I hear what people are saying about bathrooms etc, but I feel like the tax may not have been approved if it was too involved or expensive?? Most homeless just want a door they can lock and a place to keep their things. Access to the showers is hopefully 24/7.

  • christian Howard wilson
    March 1, 2021, 9:21 am

    As I said I think this is a brilliant option for these people to have and to think that they are saying the total cost is $3,000,000 is remarkable. I would like to know how they are arranging the service providers at this site because this is something that we have been considering for our project in Baltimore. If someone would let us know how they arranged it, it would be greatly appreciated. I love the way it looks and think Bernalillo can be indeed proud of itself for embarking on and creating such a village.

  • Marcia
    March 2, 2021, 12:01 pm

    Many upsides…while it would be nice to possibly have at least a toilet/sink combo (even some jail cells have those) and possibly a microwave and/or coffee maker, then more storage would have to be included. As a possible alternative, maybe more community kitchens and bathrooms-more centrally located than at the ends? I am sure that as more units are built, more kitchen/bathroom areas will be added. Good job, Albuquerque 👍

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