The government is attempting to kill the tiny house movement because it doesn't produce money for them.
The tiny house movement has been attracting thousands of Americans across the country for the past few years, and has become so popular that shows about building or searching for tiny homes are doing well on home TV networks.
The biggest reasons for going tiny are less financial burden with mortgages, more sustainable living, freeing oneself from possessions, and portability. The government and private interests don’t benefit from any of these shifts in power from corporations to consumers, and have attempted to regain control in a variety of ways.
As a result, several cities across the U.S. are beginning to ban tiny homes in an effort to eliminate the struggle of finding ways to suck money out of these homeowners. Explicit bans against homes less than a certain number of square feet (usually 600 or 700) have recently come from cities in Tennessee, Idaho, and Alaska.
Other cities have developed creative ways of keeping tiny home dwellers out by not allowing those not hooked up to the utility grid to reside in the city and significantly increasing the tax on solar customers. This effectively wipes out the solar industry and allows the continuation of energy monopolies who contribute to political campaigns to ensure their continued success.
Even one city in Texas that has outright welcomed tiny homes into their community, dubbing itself a “town that welcomes new pioneers” has completely overruled everything that sets tiny homes apart. Though they said that they support “reducing costs and gaining freedom to operate according to your own plan, unfettered by onerous and unnecessary costs,” this so-called ‘freedom’ does actually come at a cost. The tiny homes must be rooted to a permanent foundation and hooked up to city utilities, and the surrounding property must be mowed and maintained.
Nick Krautter, a real estate agent in Portland, Oregon considered going tiny before abandoning this plan after the city pushed back. He said,
“When cities require the same permitting for tiny houses on foundations as they do for traditional houses, it often doesn’t make financial sense to build tiny. At that point it’s really more of a lifestyle choice than an economic choice.”
Tiny homes have been built in some cities to temporarily house homeless people and give them a place to sleep and store their things at night. Though this solution has proven effective and is certainly humanity working to help disadvantaged people, cities like L.A. have said the homes are “a threat in many ways to our public safety.”
One city, Hadley, MA, shut down a 23-year-old’s 190 square foot home after she built it because it wasn’t up to town ordinances. When the young college graduate attempted to change the town’s policies to allow her tiny home to thrive, the city voted down the measure “because some residents were afraid the town would be overrun with them” and not because there were safety concerns.
Of course, not every city has reacted in this way in the U.S., probably because no single place has become riddled with tiny homes moving in and out. The few cities that do allow these homes often make rules like the city in Texas to keep the people as rooted as possible and prevent them from traveling. They want to control their utilities, force the people to pay taxes, and continue to increase the amount of consumers purchasing goods in their towns.
The motivation behind the control is understandable, but should be unlawful in and of itself. As time has gone on, the U.S. has become a more controlling nation that seeks to hold power over as many people as possible, and some are attempting to push back by joining the tiny house movement. Only time will tell if this movement lasts or fades away, killed by the ironic American dream.
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