Take a tour of Los Angeles' tiny home village

You can’t build an apartment building in 13 weeks in LA. It takes years, and is just as subject to NIMBYism as a homeless shelter. We wouldn’t have a housing shortage if people could just ‘build an apartment building’. You will spend years paying interest on the land before you get all of your permits, then your only choice to make that back is to make the units more upscale. We need an expedited process for affordable housing, and one that doesn’t require a corporation with deep legal pockets to navigate it.


I’m all for housing first solutions. But I’m also aware of our environmental crises, so I’m going to pile on with everyone else pointing out the inefficiencies of this solution.
In terms of basic resource use, to have free standing mini-compartments, each with their own HVAC, seems really wasteful.
I think the communal kitchen and sanitation facilities could be fine, depending how they’re maintained.
When I was homeless what I wanted most of all was a secure place to be able to store stuff so I didn’t have to carry it around all day everywhere, and a safe dry place to sleep. This tiny home village provides that, which is great, but it seems they could be providing it for way more people at almost the same cost by building well-ventilated, stripped down garden style apartments with communal facilities.
So, glad to have this, let’s do better next time.


Stalag Hipster.

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Just plain old “Concentration Camp”

True, but this problem isn’t just 13 weeks (or even 13 years) old. We’ve got a long-standing problem with providing affordable housing for people in California, and yeah, the causes are complex and varied (and involve developers wanting to build luxury housing to maximize their profits and a shocking lack of political will). But given the scale of the problem and the small number of people being housed here, it’s not a solution, nor even a step in the right direction. It’s not even a band-aid on the gaping chest wound of homelessness. It’s a sign of failure.


I feel really jaded saying this, but it seems like it’s also a portfolio piece for an architecture firm. :frowning:


Here’s the thing, though. These are all legal problems.

Legal problems created by the government specifically to create the problem. There is nothing stopping the government from just saying “screw it, we’re doing it.”

The government does not get to hide behind laws of it’s own making to explain why it has not solved the problem.

I would also bet that a large percentage of the homeless in California are employed. Which is mind boggling to me; and indicates that we have failed as an economy and as a society somewhere along the way. (Of course, having homeless people in the first part is also damning in this regard.)


Something occurred to me while reading the other comments: why has nobody simply made a building as if they’re crew decks on a cruise ship? Small, for sure, but private bathroom, bed, desk etc. the rooms are mass produced and slotted into place when they build the ships, so putting together a building the same way shouldn’t be a problem. No kitchen, but a mini fridge and a hotplate can go a long way Be the same size as these but feel a bit less like barely a step up from a cardboard box.

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Nothing says welcome home, and we respect your humanity, like a guard searching you for drugs and alcohol… Remember you can only have your drugs and alcohol at home if you can afford your own place.
The idea seems like it was headed in the right direction during early planning but then went a little too hide the poor/prison/rehab centre.

(I didnt pay attention if this is in fact a rehab centre or just another place where you can only have housing if you behave how our morals demand)


I think we’ve learned lessons from dense “projects” type housing that include a lot of hallways and such, but I thought it was funny your comment came right before this one:

Which is, as far as I’m told, exactly what happens when you reboard a cruise ship after an outing.


I’d wager to say building codes. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but unless you are planning on building lots and lots of modular buildings I don’t see how the design would be much cheaper than a standard build out. I would think the major concern if you were trying to go really dense would be fire safety and the ability to evacuate quickly. Building a frame and slotting them into place would certainly be quicker.

The numbers I’ve seen are all around 10% for various parts of the state, but I suspect that’s a serious undercount - people who are employed are far more likely to be the “invisible” homeless, and a lot less likely to get included in surveys of the homeless population, after all.


I’m not saying this is the whole story, or taking any stance on the particular merits of tiny houses for these purposes. But as a general rule, the higher you build vertically, the harder you have to work to make things livable for all concerned. A lot of high-rise “projects” built in the 60s and 70s failed spectacularly as a result.

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Fair point, but there are like 15,000 homeless in LA. Some pleasant looking tiny homes may more welcoming for NIMBY types, but it also isn’t very space efficient.

And I have heard there is a height limit where the costs and degree of difficulty go up. I want to say it was 10 floors, but I may be misremembering. Even a 3 story building of small apartments would house way more people. Possibly a dorm like setting with communal bathrooms. But it also costs more, have a higher density of homeless people which people generally don’t want around… ugh, why can’t they go be poor somewhere else? /s

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70,000 at last count a year ago. The 2021 count is delayed/canceled due to COVID.



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