Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tiny Houses and the Man

Volunteers built tiny houses for the homeless in LA. Recently the City of LA removed as many of them as they could find.

That freaks me out on a number of levels. Apparently, LA would rather have people sleeping on the street than in their own tiny house. Can't have those bums living in their own place with a door that locks and a secure place to keep their few possessions.

I'm guessing that they can't allow tiny houses to become normal. There are plenty of people who aren't homeless who'd like to live cheaply in a small tiny house. We are all supposed to pretend that everyone can work good paying jobs and buy normal sized houses. Heck, we supposed to pretend that everyone wants to live a “normal” life. Those little houses could drive down property values.

The only solution to homelessness is to put people in homes. Duh. If you don't want people in tiny homes, put them in bigger homes. How about in your home? No? Then let they stay in a tiny house.

There are very few places that will actually let you build and live in tiny house. A common way around that is to build the tiny house on a trailer and register it as a vehicle. Even that has problems. My middle-of-nowhere rural town has an ordinance against living in a trailer long term.

There are a lot of people living in their cars and vans. They usually stay under the radar and are mobile. When an area gets uncomfortable they just move on. While the lifestyle works, you have to have enough income to keep a vehicle on the road. That requires a person to have a license, insurance, registration, and to keep the vehicle fueled and in repair.

A tiny house that stays in one place should be much easier and cheaper to take care of. The only problem is that no one will allow it to happen.



  1. 60 years ago, when my husband was a little boy, his gran died and left him her house.
    after city of los angeles lawyers were finished he and his widowed mom never got the property nor were they compensated for it.
    may all lawyers and pols go to hell.
    those who did the little boy out of his tiny inheritance are certainly there now unless they are as old as methuselah.

  2. Unbelievably callous, especially given the advice California has for 'living light on the land'to use less resources. Apparently, their advice only works if the state gathers taxes at the same time.

  3. Having a license, registering a vehicle or a boat renders unto Creaser not only treasure but control. So much for the land of the free and home of the brave, eh?

  4. The problem with the tiny houses it leaves the politicians out of the loop. They cant dictate to the homeless and their friends that run charities don't get funding so there is no skim for the bureaucracy . A workable solution is never one a politician could support.

  5. Agree with the post entirely. The emphasis, unfortunately, is on appearance or compliance, rather than assistance.

    One item that sticks out at me is the minimum building size requirement. Despite the small areas of many tiny houses (200-300 sqft) and their owners' satisfaction with that, most jurisdictions that I've investigated have minimum building size requirements well above that. They also go to lengths to specify all the ways that you cannot skirt that minimum requirement (e.g., can't include a porch in the measurement).

    That said, I try to understand why various levels of government act this way. The easy answer is a combination of callousness and incompetence.

    I also think they are largely out of touch with the changes in thinking of the younger adult generations who are not very interested in McMansions.

    However, searching for other explanations, ones that they might think and give, I see two possibilities:

    1) Slums: Tiny houses might tend to aggregate and decrease in quality, especially without adequate infrastructure. Before long, some type of shanty town exists.

    2) Location: Tiny houses often remain mobile without any fixed property under them. Creates a constant legal issue of whether they can be wherever they are.

    Those items are not a defense of current regulations.

    My answer to the government officials is "So, find a better way".

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  7. An interesting and condensed example and case study:

  8. Some folks STILL think that you can get blood from a turnip. Incidentally, such things are why the powers that be want to get rid of all the "unproductive" folks, so those remaining will have something for the rich to steal.

  9. gorges,
    i told my daughter that if one greedy man literally had every bit of money on earth but one person had one penny, that greedy man could not sleep nor rest until he had that last penny.
    it is a sickness of the soul that the rest of us cannot understand.

  10. Good observation by Deborah. Though I wonder, if we don't currently understand, but that mentality seems to be controlling the system we live it, should we not try to understand it? I know there are some things we just have to accept, but I'm hard-wired to always be looking for a solution.

    On the overall theme, I find especially pernicious the general attitude that the majority of us have that people at the low end of the totem pole should "just make better choices". In reality, that's a convenient dodge.

    Some people make bad choices when they could easily do better. Many others in bad situations, however, "choose" the bad option simply because a better one isn't apparent or realistically doesn't exist.

    There is a split in responsibility between the individual and society. In the U.S., I think we largely misunderstand what that proper relationship should be; namely, far more responsibility rests on the part of society -- on the collective "us" -- than we ever own up to. For example, the responsibility to make "better choices" easily available, and to reach out a helping hand when they're not.

    It took me many years to learn this. A lesson that only comes from experience or purposeful teaching. And generally speaking, sadly, we don't teach this in our schools or our homes.

  11. all comes down to taxes, and who isn't paying