Tiny house homeless village in progress

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Tiny house homeless village in progress

2016 Tiny House Club gives tour of award winning tiny house on campus. Photo credit: Crystal Jinkens

2016 Tiny House Club gives tour of award winning tiny house on campus. Photo credit: Crystal Jinkens

2016 Tiny House Club gives tour of award winning tiny house on campus. Photo credit: Crystal Jinkens

2016 Tiny House Club gives tour of award winning tiny house on campus. Photo credit: Crystal Jinkens

Victoria Rohrer

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Chico State’s award-winning Tiny House Club is back at it again this year, creating yet another sustainable tiny house.

Tiny House Club is a student-run organization that’s mission is to design and build sustainable, off-grid housing.

At last year’s competition, Tiny House Club came back with three awards: Best Flooring, Best Home Technology and Advanced Controls. The home had its entire electronic control system on one touch pad screen. Meaning that everything from the lights to the refrigerator was controlled on the same screen.


Courtesy of Tiny House Club.

After competing in the Tiny House Competition, Tiny House Club donated their house to 14 Forward, a temporary homeless shelter program located in Marysville. It provides opportunities for people to find permanent housing and the resources to help them become self-sufficient

“Tiny houses could be the solution to many environmental and social issues,” said Claudia Manni a Tiny House Club member.

This year, Tiny House Club has teamed up with the CHAT, Chico Housing Action Team. CHAT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that everyone in the community has access to decent, fair housing and sanitation.

Together they are hoping to build a tiny house village for the homeless in Chico, similar to the one in Marysville. The Torres Shelter has seen a 40 percent increase in homeless children.

Chico alone has seen a 1.8 percent vacancy rate according to the North Valley Property Owners.

Simplicity Village is the name of the proposed tiny house village. Its hope is to provide transformative housing for those in Chico who are homeless or housing challenged. Its model is based off Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon that has been successfully working for over a decade.


Beginning of Simplicity Village. Courtesy of Tiny House Club.

Simplicity Village’s goal is to give people a community they can grow a connection and relationship with. But, due to strict zoning laws in Chico, living in a tiny house is still illegal. Tiny House Club and CHAT plan to speak to Chico City Council to change these laws so a tiny house village can become a reality.

Building last year’s tiny house took an entire year, from October 2015 to October 2016. This year, Tiny House Club is trying to expedite the process. Tiny House Club acquired their trailer this year from CHAT this year.

Acquiring a trailer is half the battle because they are expensive and usually need work done to them. The trailer is smaller than they would like it to be, so the Tiny House Club will be welding more metal on it to make it larger.

Recently, the old boards and steel bars were sawed off the trailer so that the subfloor could be built. But due to a lower budget, the tiny house will be scaled down from last year’s high-tech house.

building 2016_web.jpg

Beginning of building the 2016 tiny house. Courtesy of Tiny House Club.

Although scaled down, the house will contain a loft and a rounded curve, which is much different from the boxy model of last years. Solar panels are also a hope for the house but due to the budget, the number of panels they will be able to get is still unknown.

“It’s a good way to get involved with the community and become more sustainable,” Manni said.

Nine steps to building a tiny house:

1. Acquire a trailer

2. Make it trailer ready to build the subfloor on

3. Design the outline of the tiny house

4. Design the exact measurements for the subfloor

5. Start fundraising and collecting materials

6. Start building!

7. Keep fundraising!

8. Finish the house!

9. Donate it to CHAT for their Simplicity Village project!

Victoria Rohrer can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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