Living big in a tiny home

Special Interest

21 October 2019

The University of North Carolina School of Social Work will be constructing the Tiny Homes Village, near Durham, North Carolina in the United Sates. The Village is a demonstration project designed to create a new form of affordable housing for people with mental illnesses and other health conditions. The village will support and house veterans in need.

The Tiny Homes Village includes 15,400-square-foot (32 square-metre) well-designed, permanent, sustainable homes costing USD 50,000 each. The village will also feature community amenities, such as a clubhouse, walking trails and an outdoor pavilion. The village will adjoin The Farm at Penny Lane, an alternative therapeutic farm in Chatham County that will provide residents with access to a community garden and healthy food, meaningful daily activities and physical and behavioural health services. Residents who qualify to live in the Tiny Homes Village will pay, on average, USD 250 to USD 300 for rent, or about one-third of their monthly income.

“We are pleased to support this project which will provide affordable housing for those experiencing mental health challenges,” said Millie Brobston, Oak Foundation’s programme officer. 

“This project is a model for how partners, including the University of North Carolina School of Social Work, and community organisations can work together to benefit our community.”

– Millie Brobston, programme officer at Oak Foundation

CEO Thava Mahadevan is the founder and director of the Tiny Homes Village. “Safe and affordable housing supports are fundamental to the recovery of people impacted by mental illness,” he said. “Fortunately, we are now one step closer to making it a reality with the support of our partners.”

Residents are not expected to move in until the entire project is completed in 2021. As proposed, the tiny homes will consist of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room that are designed with a flexible floor plan, giving residents the ability to tailor these living spaces to meet their specific needs and preferences.

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