TINY HOUSE AND MOVEABLE TINY HOUSE VILLAGES
Modified from original - Tiny House Block, Mount Laguna CA Page updated Jan. 18, 2023
RESULTS OF THE 2022 TINY HOUSE VILLAGE SURVEY ARE AVAILABLE!
County Planning will be recommending zoning changes in the coming months to accommodate Tiny House Villages. In order to generate meaningful recommendations we published an online survey to collect community input. The results below consolidate 667 responses between Sept. 8 and Nov. 28,, 2022.
The survey sought input about the following topics: Types of structures, Best Village locations, Village setting, Village Community characteristics, Land ownership preferences, and Obstacles to building Tiny House Villages.
The survey asked these 10 questions. Participants chose among answers provided or wrote in answers (long answers).
Here are examples of a few key results:
Results of Online Survey, 2022
Background - Tiny House Villages
A Tiny House Village is defined in the 2019 Housing Element as "a grouping or clustering of three or more tiny houses or moveable tiny houses", or "three or more detached bedrooms with central sanitary, laundry, cooking and dining facilities."
In an effort to improve housing diversity, encourage development of new low-cost housing, and affirmatively further fair housing, the Housing Element envisions amending the Zoning Regulations to allow tiny house villages and moveable tiny house villages as multifamily dwellings permitted either by right or with a use permit.
At present, multiple small residential units on a single parcel are not recognized in the County's zoning regulations. The closest analogies are mobile home parks, special occupancy parks, RV parks, campgrounds, and planned unit developments. Tiny house villages and moveable tiny house villages differ from all these in the forms of housing they contain, limitations on length of tenancy, acceptance as permanent residences, and the forms of ownership and operation.
RV and special occupancy parks are currently most commonly run as commercial enterprises regulated by the State, which can prevent residents from having a stake in the land that the tiny houses occupy.
The survey attempts to identify community needs in order to guide regulations.
Here are some links to resources relating to Tiny Houses, Moveable Tiny Houses, and villages around California and elsewhere.
Homelessness and low income THVs
Spokane video: Seattle's LIHI village
San Jose THV: Tiny-House Community to Shelter the Homeless
Albuquerque THV: Tiny Home Village now open,
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), Seattle: https://www.lihihousing.org/villages
LIHI construction resource hub: https://www.lihihousing.org/constructionresourcehub
California THVs and MTHVs
Delta Bay, Sacramento County: https://deltabay.org/tinyhouse/
More Delta Bay, video: RV park as NorCal’s first legal tiny house village?
Los Angeles Rescue Mission model: Hope of the Valley Mission
San Diego area Tiny House Block: Converted RV Park
MoreTiny House Block: https://tinyhouseblock.com/
Land trusts, housing cooperatives, and other ownership structures take land out of the speculative real estate market, creating an opportunity for long-term affordability. We will be adding information and links on this page from time to time. If you have information to share on this subject, contact Mary Milner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Democratically controlled corporations that provide housing for members
- One housing unit equals one share
- Governed by a Board consisting mostly or completely of members
- Typically financed through a blanket mortgage for entire property
- Members pay monthly for mortgage and operating expenses.
Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives
- Permanently affordable homeownership
- One housing unit equals one share
- Often funded with a combination of private and public funds
- LECs are resident owned, there is no third-party profit and the building operates at-cost
- Sale price restricted for shares to preserve affordability and prevent speculative resale
- State law limits share price increases to no more than 10% per year and any profits from a sale of the entire cooperative be dedicated to public or charitable entities
- LECs require significant shareholder commitment to make short- and long-term decisions, and can be hard to sustain because of this reliance on consensus-based governance and engagement.
Community land trusts (CLTs)
- Nonprofit organizations typically governed by a board consisting of leaseholders (i.e., homeowners on CLT land), non-leaseholders (i.e. non-CLT residents within the community), and representatives of the “public interest”
- Permanently affordable housing, homeownership
- Split deed with 99 year ground lease – land owned by Trust, house owned by homeowner
- Homeowners agree to sell the home at a restricted price to keep it affordable in perpetuity
- They may be able to realize appreciation from improvements they make while they live in the house.
Survey on CA CLTs: Key Findings from the California Community Land Trust Network Survey
Info on land trusts: https://groundedsolutions.org/start-upclthub
Purpose of the Amendments
The proposed amendments are part of the 2019 Housing Element update, funded by an HCD planning grant to help increase low income housing.
Lay of the Land for Tiny House Villages
Tiny House Villages and Moveable Tiny House Villages were envisioned in the Housing Element as groups of three or more tiny houses or moveable tiny houses, or three or more detached bedrooms with central sanitary, laundry, cooking and dining facilities. At present, multiple small residential units on a single parcel are not recognized in the County's zoning regulations. In addition, State Law prevents moveable tiny houses from use as permanent residences outside a mobilehome or other park setting.
Why the Ordinance is Needed
The closest analogies to groups of small residences that are currently legal are mobilehome parks, special occupancy parks, RV parks, campgrounds, and planned unit developments. The tiny house villages and moveable tiny house villages proposed here attempt to address some of the shortcomings of these housing types, such as:
- Tiny houses on foundations are allowed as permanent dwellings if they meet building codes, however, groups of tiny houses on a single parcel are not allowed by current zoning.
- Moveable tiny houses (tiny houses on wheels) are classified under state law as RVs, and only allowed for temporary residency, or as a permanent residence in parks.
- Groups of two or more moveable tiny houses are classified under State Law as Special Occupancy Parks, subject to the Special Occupancy Parks Act.
- Most parks are currently run as commercial enterprises regulated by the State, which may prevent residents from having a long-term interest in the land or structure.
- Tiny houses and moveable tiny houses are cheaper to build than full size dwellings but when they are built individually as single family residences, the land, water and sewer, and other development costs can cancel the savings realized by the smaller structure size.
Photos by Lana Riley