07/24 The rules haven’t caught up to reality yet. Reality is getting more fascinating all the time!

Neighbors complained about habitation of this gorgeous tiny house, the  Ark, by Zyl Vardos

Neighbors complained about habitation in this gorgeous tiny house, the Ark, by Zyl Vardos

I wanted to share with you this email exchange from a Google group for tiny house enthusiasts. In it, Linda expresses her disappointment at reading of another tiny houser’s experience being barred from living in his tiny house on wheels in a Portland backyard. Lina Menard, consummate champion of the tiny house movement, gives some much needed encouragement below.

IT is so frustrating. I have been trying to get a tiny house for three years now, but I can’t get all the pieces lined up at the same time. And now these posts are not very encouraging! I don’t have a friend where I can move into their backyard, legal or not. Any idea how to get the city interested in legalizing the tiny houses on wheels?
Linda C. Pope, MLA, MS

Dear Linda,

Here is a more direct link to some suggestions for making Tiny Houses legal from the website Elaine shared: http://americantinyhouseassociation.org/5-easy-ways-for-your-town-to-become-tiny-house-friendly/.

In Portland, OR we’ve been working on it. Some of us have been brainstorming and had meetings and discussed and met with city officials for about four years now. In the last year a small group of us has met with the Mayor and presented suggested policy changes. And what we often hear from city officials is that as individuals they support tiny houses but as officials they have other pressing issues they’re focusing on: like access to good education, reducing traffic fatalities, addressing gang violence, etc. Portland, OR has become the epicenter of the Tiny House Universe (and the food cart movement) because of the lack of regulations that prohibit innovation. Tiny houses in Portland are regulated on a by-complaint basis whereas in some other places neighbor complaints aren’t required for officials to crack down.

Stories like Todd’s are frustrating and they chip away at my otherwise enduring optimism. But there are also now hundreds (maybe thousands?!) of people living in tiny houses across the country. Here’s how my community is doing it: http://www.unlikelylives.com/2015/04/lina-tiny-house-community/

Yes we want it to be legal. Yes, people are working on it. Meanwhile, the movement is gaining momentum. The rules haven’t caught up to reality yet. Reality is getting more fascinating all the time.

Hang tight! The groundswell is happening!

Lina Menard
Web: Niche Consulting LLC
Blog: This Is The Little Life


Elaine Walker