Alan Plummer has some big plans for tiny houses in Maine, combining elements of a planned community with 1960s-style communal living.
“I want to build a compact community designed to encourage, educate and demonstrate how to live simply, respectfully and lovingly in cooperation,” Plummer said. “By living simply, each member of the community would be helping our environment on a personal level, by living each day simply and responsibly.”
Plummer, the Maine representative to the American Tiny House Association, is building his own tiny house on a small piece of land in Manchester. The next step, if all goes according to plan, is finding and purchasing a larger plot of land for what he envisions as a sort of startup community for others interested in the tiny house lifestyle.
There is no legal definition of a tiny house, but a residential structure under 500 square feet is generally accepted to be a tiny home, according to various online groups advocated the simplified lifestyle.
Still largely on paper, Plummer’s planned Tiny Soul-ar Eco Village would cover between 10 and 15 acres in southern Maine and be an affordable temporary home for up to 25 people at a time, plus an additional half-dozen or so permanent residents who would assist in building other tiny houses on the property.
In a rent-to-own model, Plummer would pre-build several tiny houses on the property. Temporary Eco Village residents would pay $300 per month in rent to live in one of those houses plus additional $500 per month to cover the cost of building their own tiny house in the village.
At the end of four years that resident would own the new tiny house. They have the option to extend the lease for an additional year but must move off the land by the end of that period.
At the end of four years, a member of Tiny Soul-ar Eco Village would own their own home with about $26,000 in equity — including furnishings — and ready to look for their own plot of land on which to move it. Plummer envisions multiple tiny houses being built at a time in the village with new residents coming in to replace those who move on.
“I want people to be able to build their own tiny houses but not move to the village indefinitely,” Plummer said. “At the end of four years, they would own their own tiny house outright and would then pick it up and move.”