19 Dec 2016

Hello Tiny House enthusiasts and Happy Holidays!
I’d like to share some positive updates from recent happenings affecting the tiny house movement here in the Los Angeles County area!

 ABOVE: The faces of those tiny house advocates present at the ICC hearing. 

Many of you celebrating upon hearing news from earlier this month - International Codes Council members across the country voted in favor of adopting a Tiny House Appendix to the International Residential Code!!! Read more about the monumental change here. Thank you to everyone who took part in the efforts to contact our local planning & building departments. This was an unlikely win and is a huge step forward for the tiny house community, as we now can point our municipalities to a widely accepted code that they can adopt.

While this is excellent news, it will take some time and effort for us here in Southern California to benefit from this win. No municipality in California can adopt the 2018 version of the IRC or this appendix until it is approved by the State of California. We need to form a strong, organized effort in approaching the City of LA, who could potentially sway the state to approve this appendix. Please be a part of the conversation by introducing yourself and ideas on this Google Document, and collaborating through our Slack chat - password pineapple using the #ICC.

This past Thursday, December 15th, the City of Los Angeles held a public hearing on their proposal for a new ordinance on Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs).  Amy Turnball, the Vice President of the American Tiny House Association (ATHA), was able to speak on behalf of the tiny home community - you can read about her experience here. Overall, there is a lot of public support in Los Angeles for increasing opportunities for this affordable housing option, which is what the new ordinance will do in conforming with the new State requirements for ADUs. Los Angeles will no longer be as restrictive on parking or set back requirements, meaning more lots will be eligible for legal ADUs.
              A great organization – Abundant Housing LA, has created this easy to use letter template you can use to send your opinions on this new ordinance to our City Council members. Please take action and speak up in support of ADUs in your neighborhood. To make it a “pro-tiny houses as ADUs” letter, you can include the following points:

  • The City should not impose any minimum square footage requirements for ADUs, which would restrict creative tiny housing solutions.

  • The City should fully consider what the implications of sliding scales for maximum housing ratios on maintaining smaller dwellings as affordable housing units. 
  • The City should not miss out on the opportunity to expand interest in ADUs, and should consider allowing Tiny Houses on Wheels as ADUs, as allowed in communities like Fresno and Ojai, California.
 
 

On Friday, December 16th, the City of Los Angeles held a brainstorming session on alternative bridge housing for residents experiencing homelessness.  The intention of this session was to acknowledge the crisis of homelessness in the city and to offer a possible solution in intentional communities featuring micro housing options. Many great housing organizations were present, including USC architecture studentsHope of the ValleyThrive LA, LATCH Collective, and Elvis Summers from Starting Human. This openness from the city to discuss tiny homes as alternative housing solutions for the city is very exciting, and there is great potential for tiny house friendly changes to come from this dialogue.

For those interested in living in a tiny house intentional community, check out this new Facebook group, which plans to meet in early January to discover their similar goals and start paving a path forward. 

We have an opportunity to support a graduate student who is doing research on tiny homes. Nik Summers, grad student in Sociology at Indiana University, is surveying tiny house inhabitants as well as tiny house enthusiasts. With his results, he will publish academic research which will help provide data to municipalities that are considering legalizing tiny homes, and may help convince more mortgage and real estate appraisers to support tiny homes as a legitimate housing option. Please take this survey and support this valuable potential data on tiny homes! If you have any questions or concerns, email Nik at nesummer@umail.iu.edu.

Do you have any updates or events that you’d like to see included in this newsletter? I’m here to support you! Email your ideas or inquiries to latinyhousescommunity@gmail.com.

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Teresa Baker

Tiny Advocacy Network of LA

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The Tiny Advocacy Network of LA (TAN) is focused on advocating for improved local zoning bylaws and building codes to foster housing solutions including tiny houses.

“UNITING IN OUR SHARED INTERESTS OF AFFORDABLE BY DESIGN, SUSTAINABLE AND MINIMALIST HOUSING, WE USE OUR SHARED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO ADVOCATE FOR INCREASED HOUSING OPTIONS, ALLOWING THE NEEDS OF THE TINY HOUSE COMMUNITY BE HEARD AND MET. WE AIM TO IMPROVE THE WIDER LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY’S UNDERSTANDING OF TINY HOMES AND THEIR PLACE AS A LEGITIMATE HOUSING SOLUTION."

 

 

Teresa Baker