04/19 Local entrepreneurs seek legislation to ease restrictions on locating tiny homes

The tiny homes are 240 square feet, with a shingled roof and seven windows. At 30 feet long and 8 feet wide, they are designed to accommodate wheelchairs.

The tiny homes are 240 square feet, with a shingled roof and seven windows. At 30 feet long and 8 feet wide, they are designed to accommodate wheelchairs. (Jesse Poole/Bulletin)

The tiny house movement isn’t only for the young and sprightly.

A New Brighton company is fielding another path for it, but to make it work, the company’s two young business partners are first wading through the waters of passing new legislation at the state Capitol.

Jesse Lammi and John Louiselle, both 24, founded NextDoor Housing almost two years ago in hopes of putting a practical spin on living small.

Their goal is to offer individuals who require assisted living a more affordable option than a stay at an institution. Instead, they propose a home outside a home, so to speak.

The company rents out its version of tiny houses, called “DropHomes,” made specifically with the aging and disabled in mind, and places them on the properties of family members wanting to help and be closer to their loved ones.

The issue? Local ordinances.

Though their idea has been largely well-received by leaders of various cities and state legislators, laws are laws, and it can take months to get the necessary city approvals and permits to place a tiny home next to an existing house.

Every community has different ordinances, but most prohibit parking trailers, let alone tiny houses, on residential lawns and driveways for a few weeks or months.

The Temporary Family Health Care Dwellings Bill, which the two entrepreneurs helped draft, would make uniform statewide provisions for their housing alternative. According to Lammi and Louiselle, the bill has already passed through two House committees and is awaiting a vote on the House floor.

Read more – http://www.lillienews.com/articles/2016/04/20/young-company-faces-big-hurdles

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Elaine Walker