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Tiny House Villages For Seattle’s Homeless by Low Income Housing Institute

This post contains affiliate links.

This is the story of how tiny house villages are being built for Seattle’s homeless by the Low Income Housing Institute and its volunteers and donors.

When they built the first tiny house, the first homeless person who got it cried (of joy) because it was the first time they’d been able to shut a door in years. Not only that but also the first time to be able to have a place to leave their belongings. And the freedom and lightness of not having to carry everything everywhere.

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Tiny House Villages Being Built To Help Seattle’s Homeless

Tiny House Villages for Homeless in Seattle by LIHI 001

Images via Derek Armstrong Mcneill/Vimeo

These tiny homes are the last hope for many people. Without them, they could never really rest. They sleep with one eye open.

Tiny House Villages for Homeless in Seattle by LIHI 002

Images via Derek Armstrong Mcneill/Vimeo

That’s why we need to take better care of our homeless population. This is an example of an inexpensive way to do it…

Tiny House Villages for Homeless in Seattle by LIHI 003

Images via Derek Armstrong Mcneill/Vimeo

They’re very inexpensive and easy to build.

Tiny House Villages for Homeless in Seattle by LIHI 004

Images via Derek Armstrong Mcneill/Vimeo

The community gathers around and everyone loves helping to build tiny homes.

Tiny House Villages for Homeless in Seattle by LIHI 005

Images via Derek Armstrong Mcneill/Vimeo

This one is really cool looking, isn’t it? They’re really proud of these as you can imagine.

Tiny house in a Tiny house village for the homeless in Seattle Lihi-org

Image via Low Income Housing Institute

VIDEO – Young Ladies Help Build Tiny Homes For Homeless

Learn More…

LIHI Tiny Houses | Properties/Villages | Donate

Donate by mail

Mail a check payable to the Low Income Housing Institute or LIHI to:

Low Income Housing Institute
Attn: Fund Development Dept.
2407 1st Avenue
Seattle WA 98121


  1. https://lihi.org/tiny-houses/
  2. https://lihi.org/donate/
  3. https://lihi.org/properties/
  4. https://lihi.org/properties/the-marion-west/
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO9Ss8x3mDo
  6. https://vimeo.com/185758724
  7. https://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/for-women-by-women-a-sisterhood-of-carpenters-builds-tiny-houses-for-the-homeless-20180817

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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!
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Sherry
    August 14, 2019, 12:19 pm

    I am all for this and yet there should be very strict rules about who goes there and what goes on for it NO boundaries then the drugs, the booze, the gangs, the horrific way of life that got them where they were to begin with will follow them to these cute new homes. Each new homeless person should be checked and have to sign a contract stating they will comply with the rules of the community or else they lose their tiny home. Listen this is not against anyone, we all know what booze, drugs, gangs and crime does to not just a person but an entire area. I lost a child to drugs and all the decades fighting to save her and help her did not work………so I know what this lifestyle does to a person once hooked……These people need to guard themselves and keep the area nice and clean free of filth, rats, and crime….plant some flowers, grass, take pride in what you have, and have small groups talking to each other daily to keep the contact with each other and what goes on.

    • Lela
      August 14, 2019, 2:37 pm

      Great ideas. We all are responsible as human beings to God, ourselves, and each other.

    • Sherry
      August 14, 2019, 2:41 pm

      Sherry here. First of all, I am very sorry for the loss of your daughter. I cannot imagine the pain that must cause…and I hope with every fiber of my being that I never have to know. But I must ask you to please STOP the criminalization of poverty. Not all who are homeless are criminals who bring filth and rats. Homelessness can be caused by all manner of circumstance such as mental illness, physical abuse, medical and other bills beyond their means, and simply not finding a dwelling they can afford (often called the working poor). They are grandmothers taking care of their grandchildren, former sex slaves, gambling addicts, and those who are simply down on their luck or less well off because in America you have to pay to play (eg. pay for higher education in order to get a decent paying job). Please don’t project your experience with your daughter onto all who are impoverished. Doing so further marginalizes these individuals and leads others to look at them as “less than.” I work with at risk children (elementary age), some of whom do come from homes that are being destroyed by substance abuse, but they also come from homes with wonderful, caring parents who, for a variety of circumstances other than drugs/alcohol, have found themselves and their families in dire circumstances.
      I am sure the management of this community has some safeguards in place. But to suggest that all be tested in order to be a resident (even if they have not ever had any drug problems?) is a waste of resources. Tailor the requirements to the individual – If you’ve had a drug offense, your parole requirements will most likely include mandatory drug testing. If that is the case, there should be no reason to also do the same test for housing. Violate your parole by testing positive for a controlled substance & you go to jail. If you go to jail, you lose your housing…unless there are other family members who live there. Then, a custom solution must be found.
      Your suggestions about communication are spot on tho. Knowing others are there for you and know what you’re doing can deter a lot of undesirable behavior, just like acknowledging someone is in a store deters shoplifting.
      In the end, these are individuals. The reasons for their homeless are nearly as varied as the number of homeless individuals. We need to remember they are human just like everyone else.

      • Angela Edward
        August 14, 2019, 3:05 pm

        Yes they are human just like me IAM law abiding citizen never did time in jail went to college don’t bother anyone go to work everyday just can’t afford housing here in Baton rouge la would you believe what the rent and the mortgage payment are here in baton rouge 900.00 to 2000.00 dollars monthly yes we need tiny house here

      • Glanda Widger
        August 14, 2019, 3:30 pm

        Thank you. So often people are angry and bitter and try to blame homelessness on just one thing. If you have not been there you have no idea. I was homeless for a year with 3 kids under 7yrs old. The problem was my ex was a drunk, moved us to a new town far from home then quit his job and vanished. I had no way to get to a job and no one to help me at that time. I was lucky. An old man with an abandoned gas station allowed us to live in the bay of the station so we had water and a bathroom. I did odd jobs for a while then some kind soul gave me an old car to get around in and I took the kids with me to jobs cleaning houses and that sort of thing and the elderly station owner would keep an eye on them when I worked at other places,.and after saving the money I moved back to my hometown and got a new start. These tiny homes would have been a godsend for many and it is a wonderful idea.

      • Sherry
        August 14, 2019, 5:04 pm

        Thank you for understanding where I come from, I have walked and talked and forced myself in some of the most horrible places looking for my daughter, all homeless and what I saw they could care less about being in a tiny home with a bed and clean sheets and neither did my daughter……I fought the drug wars for decades with her, it destroyed my family and almost me. I so get that our country is so broken, the corporate America could care less about jobs here and all they want is money so greed sends them to foreign countries, I call that Homemade American Terrorists Supporting Terror for their own Country…..it makes me SICK to see what has happened and how normal decent people can’t afford to live in the country that they pay taxes for and vote for and support by sending their sons and daughters to wars in other countries. I am all for tiny houses, believe me if I had the money I would be in one right quick for who needs a 50 room mansion to keep up? It is just sad to me as I am a very ole lady who has seen this country go so far down and our congress does NOTHING to help those in need yet they still take and take from whatever is left of the middle class and the poor. Okay will shut up and stop the rant…….I do understand you and not everyone is a criminal….yet needs a home. I so support what is going on with tiny houses for the homeless……as I have been there!

      • Kathy Khoshfahm
        December 14, 2019, 1:54 pm

        Sherry – A very well written message – thank you…

      • Denise
        December 17, 2019, 10:03 am

        Hello Sherry,
        In Seattle, Sherry’s observation is spot on. No one is criminalizing the homeless but she is clearly and wisely identifying a problem that is very real for us here. Seattle *should* be criminalizing criminal behaviour which drug abuse is. The overwhelming majority of Seattle’s homeless are drug addicts and further, the ideal way of dealing with them via jail and treatment is not being implemented by City government. When they steal, attack someone, or throw coffee in children’s faces which they have done just in the last several months alone, Pete Holmes – the City Attorney simply releases them. Now these drug addicts can steal up to $25 from local businesses and the the City will not prosecute and the local business doesn’t even bother calling the police because their hands are also tied – they are not allowed to arrest them. As you can imagine, the police are very frustrated and a number have left the force going to other cities.

        Sadly, as a result of these things, several major businesses are shuttering their doors and the entrance to the Courthouse on 3rd Ave was shuttered for several weeks until they finally hired police to monitor that walkway due to homeless drug high attacks on random people.

        The good news is the Nicklesville site featured here is drug free – they do not permit drugs on the site or you are out the door. My suggestion to you is to watch the KOMO special called ‘Seattle Is Dying’ documentary by Eric Johnson which came out about six months ago and is currently available on YouTube. It will help you understand Seattle-specific issues regarding homelessness and why these poor drug addicted people are not being helped. Here is the direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw

    • TJ Field
      August 14, 2019, 4:30 pm

      Not all homeless people are that way because of drugs, alcohol, or gangs. My husband (now ex) became mentally ill & lost tens of thousands of dollars to scammers without me knowing it.. Now I am homeless, staying in a friend’s camper.

    • Sherry
      August 14, 2019, 5:50 pm

      I don’t know the ins and outs of what the association does for these people, this is just me and what I think, my opinion, that is all. I can’t say what they do since I am not involved in any of this…….so pleaasseeeeee

  • Angela Edward
    August 14, 2019, 2:55 pm

    Yes they are nice what about rouge Louisiana there is plenty of people homeless down here in Baton Rouge la

  • Lisa E.
    August 14, 2019, 3:48 pm

    I am so happy to see this idea come to fruition. I was stumping for this years ago. Why? Because it is so obviously needed. And Sherry is right; there are as many reasons for homelessness as there are people out there. How many jobs have been outsourced overseas or are being replaced by robotics? In my state we have had engineers living in pup-tents with pregnant wives and a couple of toddlers. We need to stop the blame game and just get as many disadvantaged people a Tiny House as we possibly can. I can’t think of much worse than facing the winter out of doors in a cardboard box. We must take care of ALL of our communities; poor, minority, homeless, or mentally disadvantaged. It is the correct thing to do for a civilized society; assume responsibility for the less fortunate.This is what will truly make America great again.

  • Alison
    August 14, 2019, 8:12 pm

    We need all kinds of solutions to combat homelessness. This looks like a good addition. I wish they’d shown more of the interiors. Am I right in thinking that they don’t have bathrooms, the residents share a central bathroom? Can people cook in their houses, or at least use a hot pot? I’ve seen homeless people in my smallish city who would love even a shed where they could safely stash their belongings, a place to get out of the rain and sleep in safety. It’s hard to find a location to put tiny house villages like this in crowded urban ares. Glad to see Seattle is trying this.

    • Alison
      August 14, 2019, 8:16 pm

      I just found the answer to some of my questions on the linked LIHI site : Each tiny house has electricity, overhead light and a heater. Each tiny house village has kitchen and restroom facilities, onsite showers and laundry, a counseling office, and a welcome/security hut where donations of food, clothing, and hygiene items can be dropped off.

  • Sheila Plourde
    August 15, 2019, 1:23 am

    This is wonderful. Song is fitting. Only thing is and I agree with a lot of comments on here. I too had a cousin that was into drugs. He didn’t care where he lived. He trashed the last place he was at. Hope they monitor who lives there. Is some shady ones out there. Ones that don’t care about keeping a home clean. We had squatters across the street on the corner. Was about 22 of them. In the garage, main house and a broken RV in the driveway. Took 4 years because the owners used it as a vacation home. They didn’t have No Trespassing signs on the fence. They waited 4 years to get them out. They were crack and meth and heroine addicts. They did all types of things in that home. The stench was unreal. Used rooms for a bathroom. Sorry don’t mean to be graphic. The place is uninhabitable and can not have a home built or placed on the property as the soil is contaminated. There are people out there that do deserve a place to live. Our own Americans on the streets hurts to see that. Some even with kids lived across the street. Protective services did nothing. God bless the ones that are doing this. I do hope that they really give the right ones that would cherish these homes and take care of them.

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