Free “granny flats” as an experiment to address homelessness

WillametteWeek_AmyChurchwell

What’s an imaginative way to combat homelessness? Offer to build granny flats on citizens’ properties… for free. A local government in the state of Oregon plans to fund construction of up to 300 miniature (200 square foot) homes on residential properties in the next year. The only catch is that property owners must agree to lease the flats to homeless families for five years. Then, property owners can keep the structures at no cost for any personal use. http://www.wweek.com/news/city/2017/03/14/multnomah-county-hopes-to-build-granny-flats-to-house-hundreds-of-homeless-families-in-portland-backyards

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2 responses

  1. This idea is clearly very smart: getting more bang for the buck in terms of the size and utility of a block of property. The community, the homeless and the owner SHOULD all benefit with the tolerable degree of effort.

    I don’t know how well this would mesh with the building codes and residency obligations in other parts of the world, which may create difficulties. Oregan is a state with an enormous amount of building timber which could be used in construction, whereas in countries like Australia, not only is brick preferable, sometimes it’s required. Similarly in Australia, utilisation of granny flats in the way proposed could hit problems in terms of council requirements. But nonetheless, it is an idea well worth working through in the context of homelessness of families which I know is attracting a lot of attention in the USA

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