The tiny house at the Ag Fair [MVTimes: bit.ly/TinyHouseAgFair] made quite clear what we had in fact suspected: People are wildly curious about the tiny house phenomenon, and quite of few of them would consider living in one, given the chance.
The Island Coalition for Tiny Houses came together spontaneously in response to an article in The Local [bit.ly/KathyRoseTinyHouse], which gave a number of us who love tiny houses the impetus to find one another and start working together to make this happen. We are locals — some of us members of nonprofit housing organizations, small businesses, town officials, and we invite people to join us. We see our task as raising public awareness and initiating discussion among Martha’s Vineyard residents, homeowners, renters, business owners, and town officials about the potential of tiny houses to address — at least in some measure — the desperate need for more affordable housing on the Island.
By sharing our experience, energy, and insights, we hope to make tiny house living possible on the Vineyard in the very near future. Our strategy includes the following main elements:
- Design tiny houses that are legal under current building and sanitary codes
- Produce and distribute these plans to others interested in code-compliant structures
- Build a code-compliant Tiny House to be used as a living/learning center and part of a possible traveling exhibit.
- Educate people so that they understand their options when it comes to tiny house living
- Advocate for code changes at the federal and state levels to improve tiny house design options
- Work with local zoning and health departments to develop proposals for tiny house living that address the land-price/income gap as the main limiting factor in housing on MV
We will have a tiny house exhibit at the Living Local Harvest Festival on October 3, and will hold a Tiny House Workshop at 3:30 pm that day to get this discussion going; we hope to see you there!
Marina Lent has been living on Martha’s Vineyard since 1998. In addition to her work for the Chilmark Board of Health, she is involved in local food advocacy, affordable housing issues, and emergency preparedness. For info on the Island Coalition for Tiny Houses, write firstname.lastname@example.org.