CHS Pics | Take a tour of E Union’s Tiny House Village

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The E Union Tiny House Village celebrated with a housewarming Saturday as the 15-unit Nickelsville and Low Income Housing Institute project on a Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd-owned lot welcomed neighbors and the people who built the little homes for a donation drive and tour with residents.

“I’m glad Seattle is actually doing something to help the homeless,” said Tyler Buell, a student from a Renton Technical College program that helped construct the residences. “Sometimes you just need a place to keep your stuff, get warm. So that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about.”

Several organizations including Seattle Central Wood Technology students built the 15 two-person houses with their own funding. Each house cost roughly $2,200 in materials, are wired for electricity. One requirement was that the houses be moveable in case of a need to move the community or redeploy one of the units elsewhere. A bathroom pavilion, a kitchen tent, and showers were also part of the village plans.

Residents for the new homes were chosen from within the Nickelsville community with priority given to veterans and longtime members. Governance will be handled within the community itself.

In 2015, more than 45 people died on the street in Seattle and Mayor Ed Murray declared a homelessness state of emergency. Organizers hope that the Union Tiny House Village is the first of many in Seattle.

For students like Buell, the project was also an opportunity to increase his house-building skills including roofing and framing. He’s hopeful that more villages like this one will be built.

“A lot of success stories come from people who were down at the bottom and rose up,” Buell said.

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17 thoughts on “CHS Pics | Take a tour of E Union’s Tiny House Village

  1. I love watching people on HGTV downsize into tiny homes. Great seeing people do more with less. These are a great step getting people into secure housing away from the elements and hope its a successful model which can be repeated. Certainly the 200k spent to remove tents can go a long way in building more of these. Much better way of spending our money.

    • I happened to walk by yesterday afternoon and was happy to see it. Simple yet decent housing for people who need it. So much better than the pile of tents that was there a year ago, for both residents and neighbors.

    • source

      Donations needed! With the village ready for it residents to move in, there is a need for kitchenware, housewares, and clothing. We are looking for donations of the follow kinds of items:

      Non-perishable foods (canned goods/dry goods)
      Pots & Pans and cooking utensils
      Paper Plates
      Blankets
      Warm Clothing, Gloves, Hats
      Towels & Washcloths

  2. I join the chorus of support for this project. This housing is certainly better than living in a leaky tent next to the freeway.

    Still, it should be a temporary home for those who really want to become un-homeless. I would hope that there are some social services involved with the people there, to help them move into permanent, long-term housing…and in the process open up the tiny homes to others currently living on the streets.

    • Hey Bob,
      Those houses are specifically designed to be temporary. The provide a space for one to get on their feet and wait in line for housing. Families are being given priority.

  3. I was wondering what would be happening with the kitchen/bathroom situation there, so I’m glad to see that those sorts of facilities will be provided.

  4. I posted this on my fb and my friend, Nico, wrote,

    “Hey Katia, we’re working on starting one here too (South Carolina)! Do you have any contacts with the project? It would be good for us to be in touch and find out about any challenges they faced.”

    Anyone have any leads for him?

  5. This is wonderful to see. We had a neighbor become homeless a year and a half ago and lived in a tent until finally getting public housing a month ago. It made me realize what a real thing homelessness is and the real difficulties people face trying to get shelter in this city. Thank you for this project; I hope to see more like it.