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Tiny Homes Village Groundbreaking Event Expected This Summer

By Bob Conrad
Northern Nevada HOPES CEO Sharon Chamberlain gives an update on Hope Springs.
Northern Nevada HOPES CEO Sharon Chamberlain gives an update on Hope Springs.
Image: Bob Conrad.

Reno’s first tiny homes village, “Hope Springs,” expects to break ground this summer. Located on Sage Street near East Fourth Street, Hope Springs is on the same property as the Village on Sage Street, residential dorms that are also expected to open soon.

“We’re going to make a difference, and we’re going to build this 30-unit shelter to help get people out of this cycle of homelessness,” said Sharon Chamberlain, CEO of Northern Nevada HOPES, which provides medical and health care for Reno’s low income and homeless populations.

HOPES hosted an update on the project Friday for donors, partners, and supporters.

Reno Council Member Neoma Jardon.
Image: Bob Conrad.

Reno City Council Member Neoma Jardon helped champion the tiny homes. She said Hopes Village was inspired by similar models in the Pacific Northwest, but it required convincing a lot of people it should happen here.

“We are in desperate need for housing, and by that I mean across the entire continuum,” she said. Supportive and low-income housing are particularly needed. “We have been for the past two years been navigating our way through building this new box.”

The homes have raised garden beds.

The project required permitting, zoning, and a fundraising campaign.

Hopes Village will have 30 individual shelters that are 96-square-feet. They are insulated, heated, and furnished. A community space will have a garden. Dog runs, a kitchen, showers, and restrooms will also be on site.

Residents will help with security and maintenance, and case managers will provide services. As bridge housing, residents will be able to live in the homes for three to six months.

Chamberlain said Hopes Village is scheduled to break ground by the end of summer. The $1.1 million project, however, still needs more funds.



Inside one of the tiny homes.



DAWN harris April 2, 2019 - 7:58 pm

3-6 months stay is not enough time to affect change in a persons life

MARLENE LACOMBE April 8, 2019 - 3:38 pm

I totally agree! Not long enough!

Roleigh Martin March 26, 2019 - 12:23 pm

I have long thought (I have a Master’s Degree in Sociology and have published over a 100 articles) that the most tyrannical government is the local government for how expensive it makes living due to unreasonable zoning and building codes. Three avenues should be pursued. I see the Reno ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) proposal failed, which is a shame, that is obviously one route; but two others exist.

1. Instead of having a Single Family Residence zoning area, change the law to read the homes in an area are either (a) single family residence or (b) can have as many humans living there minimally as there are bedrooms. Hence a 3 bedroom house should be allowed to have 3 humans living in that house, even if they are 3 unrelated individuals. Currently, when a person gets divorced or their children leave home, they end up having a house that is bigger than their needs but often they don’t want to move as new homes cost too much. This would allow them to put their home into more productive use.

2. Allow tiny home neighborhoods to exist, not targeted at the homeless but for senior citizens or singles (or couples) who are content to live in a tiny house (with a lot), they purchase (or lease) that is under 900 square feet (perhaps 500-900 square feet) but are permanently secured to a solid foundation so the neighborhood is not coded as a trailer park area. In a sense neighborhoods after World War II were about this size, as St. Louis Park in the Minneapolis MN area are commonly in this size range.

I imagine that if a neighborhood whose average size house and lot are sized for 1700 sq foot homes are selling for $300,000 that a converted neighborhood might have a 850 square foot home in a lot half the size could be made available for $150k to $175k.

Tyler Ballance March 26, 2019 - 10:58 am

When will Naoma Jardon or others who advocate for tiny houses move into one of those awful boxes? I suppose if you are currently living under one of the local under-passes these tiny houses may be appealing, but we surely can do better here in America than this concept.

Take a look at tiny hous projects across America and you see a string of really soul killing micro developments that get a lot of fanfare at the outset, but then quickly fall in to disrepair.

Nevada can revise our planning and building codes to promote the building of self-build kit homes (like other states have successfully done). Kit home manufacturers don’t even operate here in Nevada because our laws make it too expensive for them or simply do not allow some of their kits to be built.

I have been in several kit built homes and unless one was told that they were from a kit, you wouln’t know it. Some can be one bedroom units that are perfect for retirees, starter homes or for workers near urban areas. Others can be four or more bedrooms. One kit company has a kit for townhomes that groups like Habitat for Himanity have used.

The problem here of course is both land scarcity and inflexibility of our laws so that a small patch of land cannot readily be used for a small kit built home. In other states, if you have a small portion of a commercial property that is too small for commercial use, that small segment can be readily re-zoned as a dual use site and a kit built home can be built there. Our building industry has rigged the laws here so that kit built homes and even modular homes (not trailers) cannot be economically built here.

By the way, so many of the do-gooders focus on housing for the poor, when the majority of our citizens (whose median income hovers in the $30-$50,000 range are currently priced out of the local market. We do not need so much Section 8 housing as just homes for working class citizens, most of whom would cherish and take good care of their own house, if only they could afford one.

James Mcroberts March 26, 2019 - 8:46 am

I don’t think it will work out,,, unless the screening process gets people in there that really want to succeed,
But I think people will lie their butts off to get into their own big box to sleep in and invite all of their friends in too.

Karin Morris March 26, 2019 - 5:49 am

I think it’s a wonderful idea but have some questions. Who maintains it? Who will provide security? What conditions are set on those that want to move in? Do they need to be working? Are they tested for alcohol or drug abuse? The logistics to this place are enormous.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conrad March 26, 2019 - 10:01 am

HOPES is the operator and is currently working out a number of those issues.

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