Innovation That Matters

The fully kitted micro homes provide a screen porch | Photo source Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Tiny home village provides permanent housing for the vulnerable

Property & Construction

Residents pay rent and have employment and training opportunities on site in this Texas community

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Spotted: The Community First! Village, located on the east side of Austin, Texas, currently provides permanent housing to 230 people who used to live on the streets. Many of the community’s residents have been homeless for decades. The village provides significant support alongside amenities, including on-site employment and training opportunities, mental and physical healthcare, social care teams, a garden, cinema, walking trails and public transport metro stop.

Residents pay rent and the fully kitted micro homes provide a screen porch, room for a double bed, kitchen and work and leisure space. A support team of around 70 people, including Alan Graham, founder of the village, live permanently in the community. Graham is now overseeing the second phase of development which includes a further 310 micro homes and a hydroponic growing area.

As a brand new neighbourhood, the village offers innovators space to test ideas, and several of the newest homes are 3D-printed. Other entrepreneurs and cities around the country are replicating Graham’s design, as the problem of homelessness unfortunately continues to grow.

Tiny homes are increasingly being used as solutions in the global housing crisis, with sustainability a key component of many of the builds and approaches. In New Zealand, a tiny home uses passive design for heating, and in California, tiny homes in owners’ back gardens provide below-market rentals for vulnerable members of the community.

Written by: Keely Khoury

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