02/08 Woman’s home too small for Western Pennsylvania laws

Rachel Ford is looking for a place to keep her tiny home.

Rachel Ford is looking for a place to keep her tiny home.

A West View woman wants to bring the “tiny house movement” to Pittsburgh. One big problem: Most municipalities don’t allow homes as small as hers.

“It appeals to me on an economic level,” she said. “I work two jobs. I don’t want to work two jobs forever.”

Ford ordered a home that is about 320 square feet and costs about $25,000. Her builder in Michigan said the home should arrive in March, so she has about a month to find a legal location for it.

Not only is the home small, it’s also on wheels. Most local zoning regulations require a foundation or a house that is much larger than Ford’s home.

“It is very difficult. I’m not sure why the regulations are in place, but every borough — not just in Pittsburgh, but nationwide — has its own rules,” Ford said. “I was looking in Economy Borough. I found a piece of land I liked that was very pretty, and it seems the minimum square footage is 700.”

After calling 10 local municipalities, Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 found one that was considering a change in its zoning laws to accommodate tiny homes: Avalon.

Read more and watch the video: http://www.wtae.com/news/tiny-house-movement-womans-home-too-small-for-western-pennsylvania/37885686

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Elaine Walker

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