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I actually agree in principal with the tiny house premise put forward and would like to see more communities embrace them; however, for your message to truly resonate, Mr. Ludwig, you need to present an accurate argument.1. "The current state of manufactured housing is dismal. M\Poor quality design and building. Ever seen a FEMA trailer?" Actually, the current state of pre-manufactured homes is the best it has ever been. There have been huge advancements in energy efficiency, pre-manufactured homes are built in factory, assembly line settings where quality control is strict and workers more skilled than single family "pick up labor". Additionally, materials are protected from the elements unlike traditional stick built homes. You may well have meant mobile homes but even there the above applies. Moreover when you question the quality of a FEMA trailer you need to familiarize yourself with Federal law which specifically prohibits FEMA from providing permanent housing so the trailers are disposable by design. This was a huge issue after Katrina when several companies stepped forward to offer designs that were cheaper than FEMA trailers and permanent housing. Because of the permanent part, FEMA had to reject the proposals.
Why knock per-manufactured homes? With good design and detailing a factory could produce tiny house quicker than any other method for a fixed cost with quality control which would be non-existent in a disaster zone. To forward your tiny home idea I would suggest embracing all comers for getting these homes to the families in need.2. "As a culture, we need to recognize that access to affordable housing is the next great challenge of equality. After race and gender, affordable housing is next in line." I think you are mixing apples and oranges: disaster housing and "equality". But accepting they are somehow the same, do you mean economic equality? If so, the top three indicators that someone is going to pull themselves out of poverty and have "economic equality" is a. graduate high school. b.get married but hold off marriage and a child until over 21 and c. have a full time job. All of which an affordable home helps but is not integral to at all. If you don't mean economic equality what kind of equality do you mean?
Moreover tiny homes serve a niche market. While I strongly support the idea of home ownership, a 600 sq. ft. home may, in the short term after a disaster be a godsend, it would be a less than an idea solution for a family. Tiny homes are affordable because of their small square footage but most, on a square foot basis, can be a good bit more expensive than larger homes. A true solution needs to address the needs of families as well as couples and single folks. (and yes, I know if you watch Tiny House Nation there is always the family with a few little kids choosing to dramatically downsize. I would offer this is the exception not the norm AND let's see how that family is enjoying the tiny house in 5 years when the kids are teenagers).
3. " It is my belief that housing will never be made affordable using the tools that have been used in the past, which all include traditional elements of the corporate business model, most notably PROFIT. By allowing the building and placement of individual, local created of tiny houses as ADUs on ALL residential property, we will eliminate the disproven profit-driven models and empower ownership-based self creation and care." For anyone to try to argue profit driven models are "disproven" is flat out silly. What local companies are you suggesting will rush in to build tiny houses without profit? Companies that want to be out of business by the second house? Or are you suggesting that the folks who have just lost everything to a natural disaster are gong to buckle down and build their own homes, regardless of any actual experience in construction? (see #1. pre-manufactured homes and quality control). Or are you suggesting a quasi governmental or charity group like Habitat would build these homes? If so, where does the money and manpower to build hundreds of homes come from?4. " By allowing the building and placement of individual, local created of tiny houses as ADUs on ALL residential property, we will eliminate the disproven profit-driven models and empower ownership-based self creation and care."
This needs to be thought through. Land is not free and even neighborhoods devastated by natural disasters have land value. " Well, it seems difficult/impossible to claim the "harm" that might be done by the placement of tiny houses to the "established fabric of a neighborhood", when the entire neighborhood has been destroyed by natural disaster." Not actually true. Many homeowners, especially in more established or affluent neighborhoods, have insurance so they will be rebuilding. How do the tiny home folks get a homeowner, who is rebuilding their 4000 sq. ft. home to sell off part of their 1/4 acre? If they don't sell off but just rent the land the tiny house person will always be paying a mortgage of sorts.
"rental must be limited to rents below market value, with short term rental prohibited, and with rent increases limited by the cost of living". Ok. I live in my 4000 sq. ft. rebuilt home. What on earth is the incentive I have to put a tiny rental house in my yard when I am restricted to BELOW market rates? I won't recoup my investment in the tiny house for potentially decades at that rate plus I may not be a NIMBY to a tiny house but I may well be a NIMBY (on my own property) to what amounts to section 8 housing.
Again, I think the basic idea of tiny houses filling a niche after natural disasters and even as a path to affordable housing is a good one but it needs to be more seriously considered. The overall proposal seems to have two similar but disparate goals: disaster housing and long term affordable housing. Acknowledge the different paths and associated laws both need to succeed. Businesses want to make a profit. People want to live in homes that fit their families. Homeowners want to know if they take a risk and build a tiny house rental unit they will, at the very least, see their investment repaid. Personally I think the lesson of Katrina is a good marriage of several ideas. Companies came forward with small accommodations that were permanent housing that made the manufacturer a profit but violated Federal, not local laws. Change the Federal law, allow FEMA to give out tiny houses that are permanent. Allow neighborhoods to have flexible zoning but at the very least restrict rentals to market rate so there is no price gouging in a disaster.I think this is just the beginning of a needed conversation.