As I await finding an affordable trailer, I continue to read and watch all things tiny. The good thing about this is, that I am continually learning of all the wonderful ideas and creative endeavors of other tiny housers, the bad part is that I also end up extremely anxious about how I am not moving and building fast enough and I must admit that reading about tiny housers being evicted, leaves me wondering if I will be able to do this and where the heck I will land.
I’ve been reading about the Zoning laws of some states and they pretty much all agree; tiny houses on wheels, are not for full-time living and are viewed as ‘illegal’ in many ways. Registered as an RV if on wheels, as I hope mine to be, they are not for residing full-time. Issues regarding water and waste disposal are a concern even though most tiny housers are following the rules and being deeply conscientous of their impact on the environment. Another issue is that basically tiny housers are the nomads/gypsies of the housing world. We are seen, somewhat, as rebels, people who do not want to live by conventional means or rules (hellllloooo, conventional means have hindered us financially and are not eco friendly) by paying thousands of dollars in home taxes and living to pay for your home and heating bills. But, this makes you a good tax paying citizen :).
I am confortable with being non-traditional amd unconventional, I am comfortable with wanting to protect our earth for future generations, I am comfortable with living with less for a bigger fuller life. I like that I have bigger goals than just consuming for the sake of consuming. As a single mother, building a tiny house on wheels seems like the only feasible way for me to have a roof over my head when I retire as, I owe a horribly shocking amount of money on my student loans. I will never be able to buy a conventional home ever again due to lack of savings and once again due the poverty level once I retire.
I am not trying to cheat anyone, I just want to be able to survive after serving as a social worker for many many years and paying a LOT of taxes to our wonderful government. I want to contribute to society now in a different way – helping the needy, advocating for the disenfranchised and finding ways to lovingly care and restore, in small ways, this beautiful earth that has provided and taken care of me.
That being said, the news out of Colorado (who I revered as a hero of the earth and progressive thinking), has left me disturbed and saying “wait, I thought you were our friends.” Their destruction of a tiny house community left me stunned and in many ways feeling lost and hopeless. Then, again the state that I once thought of as a place where ‘people get it” — leaves me with my mouth hanging opem. when they evict, soon after arriving (like within 24 hours) , tiny housers, Jenna and guillaume — who had, the whole time, believed they would be settling in Denver after traveling the US for a year.
Then there is the more recent case of my friend and tiny houser Sarah Hastings, who’s been served by the town’s local zoning board for living ‘illegally” on a farm in Massachusettes.
All the tiny housers I have met or read about are conscientously making a decision to do with less, including myself. We are not trying to secretly get away with anything unscrupulous (i.e. don’t get me started on the banks who destroyed the housing market and got away with it, not to mention the hundreds of thousands in bonuses with not even a slap on the hand). We are peaceful people who love life, our planet and understand that life has much more to do with living than with how much we have.
Portland, Oregon — you are still my hero, please stay that way and don’t disappoint us.
Please help me support my friend Sarah keep her tiny house in its current location. You will also be standing for our right to live tiny, ethically and sustainably.