Tiny house villages could soon be big—really big.
According to researchers at Kansas State University, tiny house villages are environmentally friendly, they promote a sense of community, they encourage healthy lifestyles and habits, and they’re a safe and affordable housing option for the masses. Forall of these reasons, the experts are hoping that tiny house villages will spread across the country in the near future, according to The Wichita Eagle.
Tiny homes, designated as abodes that clock in under 1,000 square feet, don’t make up much of the real estate market right now. As of 2015, only one percent of home buyers wanted to live in a so-called tiny home, according to the National Association of Realtors—but the Kansas State researchers think this may soon change.
“We think [living in a tiny village] does a few things for one’s health,” Julia Irwin, a researcher at the university, explained, “including creating a better sense of community, satisfying people’s basic needs for relationships, offering affordable housing options, and encouraging physical activity through community gardens and walking to urban establishments.”
Clearly, there are a lot of benefits to living tiny, however zoning laws across the country have often hindered the growth of tiny house communities. The guidelines set in many areas discourage small houses—mainly mobile homes—because, among other reasons, they can be seen by neighbors as “low class.” But, experts believe that the growing passion many have for these teeny properties will improve the way people perceive them.
“Tiny houses have a different connotation to them; they are typically seen as a middle or upper-middle-class housing structure,” said Irwin. The researchers plan to study specific tiny villages in order to figure out how they can harness the trend and use it to provide affordable housing options to those that need it. So the next time a new housing development gets underway in your neighborhood, it may not be packed with modern McMansions, but rather with a tribe of tiny houses.