5 Easy Ways for Your Town to become Tiny House Friendly!

  1. Establish “no minimum sq ft” zones for tiny houses on foundations.
    • Older neighborhoods that already have many small homes are good candidates for these zones.
    • In newer communities, allow for the creation of pocket neighborhoods, clusters of tiny homes, ideal for seniors or students.
  2. Streamline the permitting process.
    • Offer simple, economical, pre-approved, tiny house plans for purchase by prospective home owners.
    • Charge reduced fees for inspections and hook ups for tiny houses.
    • Create an easy-to-follow outline of the steps required, from applying for the initial permit to obtaining the occupancy certificate. Publish this in a prominent place on your town’s website.
  3. Create zones that allow an accessory dwelling unit in the backyard of an established home.
    • Include tiny houses on wheels in the definition of an accessory dwelling unit, provided the tiny house has adequate insulation for year-round living, and has proper sanitation and heating systems.
  4. Create instructions on how to register a tiny house on wheels with the DMV.
    • Be sure to use the words “tiny house on wheels,” along with “homemade trailer,” if appropriate.
    • Be clear and specific regarding what documents are required (bill of materials, receipts, certificate of origin for trailer?).
    • List any inspections that are required.
    • State whether the tiny house on wheels must meet NFPA 119.2 or A119.5 and how the owners can verify that their house does.
    • Train your DMV staff so that everyone understands what the rules are and can explain them to the public.
  5. Eliminate maximum lengths of stay in RV parks.

Want to help YOUR town become tiny house friendly? Share these steps with your local zoning & planning officials and your DMV. Let’s create a tiny house friendly America!

Beach huts at Hengistbury Head near Bournemouth in Dorset

Beach huts at Hengistbury Head near Bournemouth in Dorset


Elaine Walker