Rural Studio, Atlanta

Auburn University’s architecture program runs the rural Studio program to design the best possible house for less than $20K.  While their structures are larger than the tiny-houses and include both kitchens and bathrooms, they can be a useful resource for efficient space planning.  News stories indicate that they have developed many pioneering innovations.

Their goal is to create a home for low income families that would be seen as highly desirable for anyone.

Their main site:  (

Descriptive news story:
Rebuttal to the extreme gushing of the previous story.


Summary of Tiny Houses Projects for the Homeless

Here are the programs that we’ve located

Location Name Comments
Ithaca NY Second Wind Located in a rural area outside of the city
Nashville TN Tiny Homes Began as a religious initiative
Madison WI Occupy Madison Started as a political protest, Site is particularly well documented.
Austin TX Community first Began as a religious initiative, includes micro-businesses
Denver CO Resurrection Village Complex battles with city agencies
Eugene OR Square One Two separate village projects underway
Portland OR Dignity Village On outskirts of city, site is more primitive than most, strong self governance
Olympia WA Quixote Village Located on county land near a former dump, strong self governance, strong community support
Seattle WA Nickelsville Begun as a tent village, it has moved to tiny houses.

Make it Rain, Ocean City, NJ

Make it Rain, a nonprofit in Harleysville NJ helped an elderly Ocean City man transition from living in a tent to a tiny house.  According to news stories, the house is currently in a state campground while looking for a permanent location.

At present, this appears to be a single entity with no plans mentioned to expand into a village.

News story


Resurrection Village, Denver

This is an example of a village in conflict with the city government.

Sustainability Park had been a community garden and tiny-house project located on land owned by the Denver Housing Authority.  When they sold the land in 2015 do a private developer, the local supporters, Denver Homeless Out Loud protested, resulting in a police confrontation and destruction of the homes.

News story describing the confrontation

Statement by the protesters.

In December, the village reappears in a new location and using only tents.  The new location is also owned by DHA but has been vacant for about 30 years.


Arcade Providence

Arcade Providence converted a failed three-story shopping mall into a multi-use facility.  The first floor remains as retail space which the upper floors became mini-apartments, each between 225 and 300 square feet.  This is not really a homeless project, but deserves attention for its creative reuse of an urban space.

The typical unit includes a bathroom and kitchen with refrigerator and microwave but no stove.

While this is quite different from the other mini-houses, it offers several innovations worth consideration:

  • Reuse of an existing building, including preservation of historical facade
  • Mixing of commercial and residential spaces
  • Location in center of commercial district
  • Rooms larger than most but still within the realm of mini-houses.

New story describing the Arcade


Liberty Homes Project, Raymond NH

Liberty Homes is located in Raymond — a town close to Manchester NH.

It began as a single mini-house to prove the concept.  After some political issues attempting to find a suitable location, it was welcomed onto a portion of an existing rural property.  This one uses a converted cargo unit instead of building a custom structure from scratch.

The story mentions plans for additional units, but there’s no indication that they yet exist.

Veteran Resort Chapel, Lee, NH

Veteran Resort Chapel is a collection of mini-houses in southeastern New Hampshire.  The planned 12 buildings are a bit larger than most (8′ by 16′) and include composting toilets.

The project is largely the creation of one individual, has a deep religious character, and limits itself to homeless veterans.

The site indicates they have experienced a number of NIMBY issues despite being located on 12 very wooded acres.