To Ease Homelessness, Portland Eyes Micro-Homes
One design costs $20K—just over annual cost of an emergency shelter room
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2014 10:22 AM CDT
In this Oct. 4, 2013, photo, a person walks by the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(Newser) – It isn't cheap for Portland, Ore., to house its sizable homeless population. An emergency shelter room costs $16,000 a year and lacks basic plumbing, and there aren't enough rooms to prevent 2,000 people from setting up shelters under bridges, on sidewalks, and in abandoned lots throughout the city on any given night. So Mayor Charlie Hales' office is trying to get creative and think outside the standard dorm shelter box: The current top idea under consideration is providing micro-homes for minimal rent to help people get off the streets and into jobs.

A task force meets next week to "assess the viability of using tiny homes as a potential for housing houseless people," the director of strategic initiatives tells Time, adding that he hopes the first homes will be ready as soon as February 2015. Architectural firm TechDwell has already pitched an idea for a two-person dwelling made out of prefab materials, featuring separate entrances and sleeping areas and a common kitchen and bathroom. The price tag: $20,000. Each person would have roughly 100 square feet of living space, with the pilot program putting up to 10 structures on four city lots. Residents would pay around $250 to $350 a month in rent, and after an initial $1 million outlay, the project would be self-sustaining, reports KPTV. (Meanwhile, in China, one family appears to have been thrown out of its house with no explanation.)

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Aug 28, 2014 5:02 PM CDT
Sounds to me like they are suggesting the construction of a shanty town that will become a slum in a short period of time.
Aug 28, 2014 12:14 AM CDT
great!yet these dont even have to cost 20k each...there are small dome/eco-shells for around 10-15k a piece..the new smaller shipping container structures also..if they dont engineer them around a ''designer-based motif'',they can build these alot cheaper-its just a pathetic shame in a land glorified with materials and food,one has to apply for some kind of program or card,or some government framed b.s. to be eligible or qualify to fill a form of some kind...bunch of garbage...the people of this land are taxed to death and it does nobody any positive to their current situation except dry their wallets and purses up..the big pharma based hospitals /medical centers should be dishing out free meals anytime of the day,no questions asked--but their too busy tryin tolook good by donating a scoreboard or two to a local high school!!
Aug 27, 2014 4:51 PM CDT
Great idea! Not just for the homeless, but for anybody that doesn't want to spend 75% of their income on rent and utilities.