HUD Wants to Make Living in a Tiny House or RV Illegal

We’re working on locating links to HUD so that we can speak out *Against* these “regulations”. Please take action in any way that you can, start by sharing this information with your friends and families. [edit] here’s a link to HUD’s page –

The tiny house movement has taken America by storm, in part because our economy is in the toilet. People are striving to reduce their expenses by embracing minimalism. They’re breaking free from the corporate grind because, as I’ve always advised, they are learning to live with less and radically reducing their expenses.

But, these days in America, you are sharply admonished when you try to live your life outside of the strictures of the 9-5 world. Is it any surprise that the government is now taking steps to limit our ability to drastically reduce our expenses? They always seem to make illegal anything we try to do to be more independent and moving into a tiny house appears to be the next on their list.

via HUD Wants to Make Living in a Tiny House or RV Illegal


Welcome To Rent Court, Where Tenants Can Face A Tenuous Fate : NPR



Today, more than 11 million families spend over half of their incomes on rent, and for the poor, it can be as much as 80 percent. That means millions of Americans face the threat of eviction, or they live in substandard housing because it’s all they can afford. NPR’s Pam Fessler has been spending time at the rent court in Washington, D.C., where the struggle between low-income renters and landlords over affordable housing often comes to a head.

In some places, it’s called rent court or housing court. Others, eviction court. In Washington, D.C., it’s known as the Landlord and Tenant Branch. This is where landlords in the city sue tenants, usually because they failed to pay the rent.

Each weekday morning, dozens of people can be seen filing into the three-story courthouse where their cases will be heard. And maybe their fates decided. Everyone passes through a metal detector. Women with small children. Elderly tenants with walkers and canes. Several of those who gather in the hallway wear work uniforms. They’re nurse’s aides, security guards, grocery store clerks.

The tenants are among the city’s poorest residents. And while this city’s population is less than half African-American, according to U.S. census data from 2014, almost every single tenant here — day after day after day — is black. The white people are usually attorneys.

In the wood-paneled courtroom the loud wooden pews squeak loudly during roll call of the day’s cases, which can run into the hundreds. This court had 32,000 cases last year alone. In an effort to help lighten the caseload, the judges encourage tenants and landlords to try to work out a settlement before they’re called into the courtroom. And many of them do, often with the help of a court-appointed mediator.

‘Could Be’ Homeless

“My name is Lisa Brown. I live in Southeast Washington, D.C., in Atlantic Terrace. I’m currently $6,000 plus in arrears, of back owed rent.”

Outside the court, Brown says she calls herself the new face of the “could be” homeless. She has just signed a deal with her landlord. If she doesn’t come up with the money she owes in a couple of weeks, the landlord can evict her from the apartment she shares with her three children and a grandchild. Brown works at a hotel, but she says it isn’t enough.

via Welcome To Rent Court, Where Tenants Can Face A Tenuous Fate : NPR

Tents, campers and dogs, oh my | Cabins, containers, tiny homes and yurts, oh my

A Shared Story from one of our fellow homeless friends:

It has been quite awhile since we last posted. It was a pretty difficult year for us and now we have finally landed in a tiny camper in the desert (southern California). It will be and has been pretty hot for us and we are happy to have our new home. Well, all I can say is I wanted to live in a tiny home and I sure did get my wish. Will write more about living in a camper soon.

Meanwhile you can read more about camping with dogs and more at the link below as well as about a great insulated tent called a Shift Pod. It is waterproof, wind resistant, built for the harsh climate of the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada (hot during the day and cold at night), and easy to set up (in less than five minutes). It is six feet high and can easily fit a queen size bed and a table and chair, and other gear for your camping adventures. Also being utilized as relief/disaster shelter and shelter for people without homes.

Source: Tents, campers and dogs, oh my

Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk on Vimeo

Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

There are lots of ways that we become homeless, this is one of the rather common ones. Someone decides that they want the property that we own or rent, they purchase it without our consent, and now we live and perhaps die, on the streets. ~ gnat

Robert Dodd will die. If Brian and Erica Hunt succeed in evicting him to satisfy their greed, Robert, who has survived cancer and HIV, will not survive without his network of caregivers, doctors and medical services. When we say, “Eviction = Death”, we mean it.

via Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk on Vimeo.

***Another article submitted to us by one of our fans here at Occupy  Homeless, thank You Peter Menchini, for the work that you’re doing and for sharing this important information with us!

Tiny Houses | Perspectives | Perspectives | KQED

tiny house


Something about tiny houses makes intelligent people go weak in the knees. But what issue does the miniaturization of housing actually solve?

I like tiny houses same way I once liked the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven. But one 264 square foot micro-unit hit the San Francisco market this past December for the “affordable” price of $425,000. Developers who capitalize on the housing crisis are no more likely to be motivated by community needs than the college students who compete for annual prizes with tiny house designs in which they have no plans to actually live.

The suggestions that tiny houses are part of a solution to homelessness seem especially bizarre since the issue isn’t the size of the house or tent; it’s the unwillingness of your public official to allow them to exist at all in public spaces. Tiny house misconceptions are passed around like cookies, especially the misconception that there is not enough land or money to address the housing crisis. This is nonsense. We are a wealthy nation capable of housing the poor. One should never confuse an absence of resources with an absence of political will.

But the misconception that poor people (and apparently nobody else) should start living their lives in miniature is not just nonsense, it is offensive. Do poor people somehow need less room to cook or have friends over for a meal? Do people who have survived grinding poverty need less light, less space, less access to computers, art supplies, pianos, or room for their children? I would argue the opposite.

Live in a teacup if you like, I would say to tiny house proponents, those who aren’t frankly capitalizing on the housing crisis or jousting for some academic design prize. But think before requesting the miniaturization of someone else’s life. It’s cynical to arrange companionship-free living for others while the developers, happily living in large houses, periodically dust the environmental prize hanging by the mantel.

With a Perspective, this is Carol Denney.

Carol Denney is a freelance writer and human rights editor for Street Spirit newspaper.

via Tiny Houses | Perspectives | Perspectives | KQED.

Hiding The Homeless | VICE News

Here’s a 13 minute video, linked below, that addresses some of the major problems of the system to keeps homelessness going. It also offers some realistic solutions.
~ gnat

Hiding The Homeless – November 23, 2015 

A growing number of American cities are ticketing or arresting homeless people for essentially being homeless. The new laws ban behavior commonly associated with homelessness like reclining in public, sharing food or sitting on a sidewalk.

Supporters argue these measures are necessary to push homeless people into the shelter system and maintain public safety. Critics say the laws violate the rights of homeless people and ignore the more complicated drivers of homelessness like mental illness.

We found homeless people camping in the woods to escape police harassment, a homelessness consultant opposed to feeding homeless people and a city that uses solitary confinement to force homeless people into shelters.

VICE News began its investigation in Boise, ID, where a group of homeless people have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these laws. Their case could change the way homeless people are treated across the country.

via Hiding The Homeless | VICE News.

D.O.J. Orders Stop to Criminalizing Homelessness and Poverty

It’s been our long time understanding that, if people understood what life like this is really like, they’d be moved to help in huge and profound ways.

While we are grateful to see the DOJ *finally* step in and say something, we think that little will actually change any time soon. ~ gnat

a quote from the article:

“No-one in their right mind wants to be poor or homeless, so it is always curious why many Americans are cruel and inhumane toward the very least fortunate among us. It is a safe bet that if there were enough living-wage jobs, the number of Americans stuck in poverty and without a place to live would be far less. Whatever the reason a person is in economic despair and lacks a safe place to live, there is no reason whatsoever to criminalize them or their families for being poor or homeless.”

via D.O.J. Orders Stop to Criminalizing Homelessness and Poverty