live / 2016

How we can use tiny houses to make a big impact on housing affordability in Los Angeles!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Patrick McCaffrey Foundation

The purpose of our project is to demonstrate a replicable method for solving LA’s affordable housing crisis by encouraging tiny living as a solution.

Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

LATCH Collective, Makes A Village, LLC

Please describe your project proposal.

Makes a Village, LATCH Collective and the Patrick McCaffrey Foundation are collaborating to demonstrate how to use tiny homes to create affordable-by-design housing and increase self-sufficiency in Los Angeles. With $100,000, we can take 5 important capacity-building steps for implementing our approach.

Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Housing affordability
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Resilient communities
  • Homelessness

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • Locations of LATCH & Makes a Village are TBD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?

Our proposal supports Los Angeles in its goal of becoming housing secure, promoting self-sufficiency, encouraging resilient communities, and preventing further growth of homelessness, by enabling owner-built, affordable-by-design housing. We hope this model will have a ripple effect in LA, and encourage other models of creative housing solutions. Tiny Houses – Affordable-by-design: While tiny homes are generally under 300 square feet, they are highly customized to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and needs, and use design innovations to maximize useable space and reduce waste. Their small size substantially lowers build costs and increases efficiency. The average cost of a Tiny Home is $22,000, allowing a minimum wage earner to become a mortgage-free home owner within four years using less than 30% of their income. There are creative possibilities available to a house with mobility incorporated into its design, most notably ease of syncing to existing infrastructure, allowing occupiers flexibility, and communities adaptability. Resilient communities are diverse and adaptable, and we believe increasing housing options to include Tiny Homes will make communities throughout LA County stronger and more resilient. A Maker’s Space for Tiny Houses: LATCH provides the opportunity for Angelenos to take action towards increasing their housing security by providing the space, tools, training, and support necessary for collaboratively building their own affordable-by-design DIY homes. The benefits of this maker’s space reach beyond those directly involved in building a Tiny House. Community members will have access to educational workshops focusing on building specific skills like framing, siding, electrical wiring, etc. A tool share program will allow them access to rental tools they need to improve their own dwellings. LATCH will be a center for research, support and housing advocacy, offering assistance to anyone in Los Angeles in understanding their options for legally living in small structures, on or off wheels. Helping Veterans Build Housing: By working with local agencies to identify veterans and other housing insecure candidates, we will sponsor these individuals to be participants of our “Hammer & Heart” program, which provides dedicated building space at LATCH and connects participants to the support and resources they need for a safe and successful home build. Land for a Tiny House Village: Makes A Village wants to create a Tiny House village as part of their plan to help Los Angeles residents finance and build affordable housing. The village aims to have owner-occupied housing, integrate living-wage jobs into the community design, and implement a hyper-local economy. Starting a Housing Cooperative: The development of our housing cooperative will allow LA residents an opportunity to work together to overcome high costs of living and participate meaningfully in the development and management of each housing community.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

1) SUCCESS IS LA County residents developing homebuilding knowledge and skills. THIS LOOKS LIKE 300+ hours of home building labor; 12+ workshops; 50+ participants trained in shop safety; 80%+ of membership holders feel they’ve gained the skills and confidence to start their own projects; and 80%+ individuals in, or desiring to enter, the homebuilding/related industry feel their experience with LATCH is beneficial to their resume or a future interview. 2) SUCCESS IS LATCH becomes valued as a home-building resource center by LA County residents. THIS LOOKS LIKE 100+ Community memberships; 12+ Builder Memberships; 20+ Partner members; 10,000+ visits to LATCH online resource library; 100+ tool rentals through Tool Share Library; 50+ hours of 1-1 consultation; 10+ municipal leaders visit LATCH; and 80% of partner members receive at least 1 client as from LATCH. 3) SUCCESS IS increase in self-sufficient homeowners. THIS LOOKS LIKE 24+ homes built at LATCH; 12+ Veterans sponsored through Hammer & Heart program; 5+ traditional (non-tiny) homeowners support their mortgage payment through income from the addition/renovation of an SDU with support of LATCH. 4) SUCCESS IS laying the foundation for a permanently affordable village of owner occupied housing. THIS LOOKS LIKE PMF purchase of a site to develop a Tiny House village demonstration. 5) SUCCESS IS previous strangers connecting and willfully becoming neighbors. THIS LOOKS LIKE… Formation of housing cooperative.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers
  • Community outreach