Home / Be The Change / Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living

Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living

As the corporatocracy tightens its grip on the masses – finding ever more ways to funnel wealth to the top – humanity responds in a number of ways, including the rising popularity of tiny houses.

These dwellings, typically defined as less than 500 square feet, are a way for people to break free of mortgages, taxes, utility bills and the general trappings of “stuff.” They’re especially attractive to millennials and retirees, or those seeking to live off-grid.

But government and corporations depend on rampant consumerism and people being connected to the grid.

Seeking actual freedom through minimalist living should seem like a natural fit for the American dream, but the reality is that many governments around the country either ban tiny homes or force them to be connected to the utility grid.

“As of now, few cities allow stand-alone tiny houses. Most communities have minimum square footage requirements for single-family homes mandating that smaller dwellings be an “accessory” to a larger, traditional house. Many also have rules requiring that dwellings be hooked up to utilities, which is a problem for tiny-house enthusiasts who want to live off the grid by using alternative energy sources such as solar panels and rainwater catchment systems.”

Some of the more recent examples of explicit bans include Etowah, TN and Wasilla, AK, which don’t allow homes less than 600 square feet and 700 square feet, respectively.

Boise, ID doesn’t allow homes less than a few hundred square feet, as Shaun Wheeler of Wheeler Homes found when he built a perfectly good and safe 310 sq. ft. home.

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Lawmakers spout slippery slope fallacies, saying that allowing tiny homes will lead to decay and “unsightly little cabins plunked down next to traditional homes.” Using government force to stamp out societal change in response to financial factors is this councilman’s idea of conservatism.

Granted, some cities are actually encouraging tiny homes as a means of freedom or as a solution to homelessness, as in Detroit, MI. Some Los Angeles lawmakers don’t see it that way, calling tiny homes for the homeless “a threat in many ways to our public safety.”

Wasilla residents are baffled by the tiny home ban, which seems to run contrary to Alaska’s wild and free nature. Tundra Tiny Houses is leading a new market of small home construction using renewable energy, and now they’ll have to tell customers Wasilla is not an option, in addition to Anchorage to Eagle River.

A big priority for tiny home dwellers is their reduced environmental impact. Many are capable of producing all their own energy from solar and wind, collecting rainwater and reusing graywater. Not depending on utility inputs naturally makes a lot of sense, especially for a tiny home on wheels.

Even those who put their tiny home on a piece of land away from crowded spaces – with the intention of living off-grid through renewable inputs – are considered outlaws if they don’t hook to the utility grid.

This of course ensures that utility companies, which are big donors to political campaigns and profit immensely from government-enabled monopolies, will always get their cut from every household.

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In January we reported that sunny Nevada essentially killed its solar industry by increasing their tax on solar customers by 40 percent, causing solar providers to leave the state. The only beneficiary was NV Energy, whose energy monopoly was protected.

Spur, TX was the first city to advertise being “tiny house friendly” as a “town that welcomes new pioneers” – proudly supporting “reducing costs and gaining freedom to operate according to your own plan, unfettered by onerous and unnecessary costs.”

To have this “freedom,” you must secure your properly permitted tiny home to an approved foundation and be connected to city utilities. The property must always be mowed and the prime responsibility is “of course, paying your taxes!”

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,” said Nick Krautter, a real estate agent in Portland, Oregon, who abandoned plans for a tiny house development.”

23-year-old college graduate, Sarah Hastings, built a 190-square-foot home on three acres of farmland in Hadley, MA, complete with a garden next to it. But the town found she was not in compliance with zoning ordinances, and now her home is in storage.

Hastings proposed a change to the town’s laws to allow for her tiny home, but the measure was vote down “because some residents were afraid the town would be overrun with them.” There will be no minimalist, environmentally friendly living in Hadley.

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Clearly, the emergence of tiny homes is being met with fear, and the resulting banishment of freedom, by too many towns and cities across America that can’t quite fathom this shift in the way people think about living.

It’s one thing to be concerned about safety issues, but the imposition of minimum square footage requirements and mandatory connections to city utilities is mindless authoritarianism.

Let’s hope places like Fresno, CA and Rockledge, FL, which are specifically allowing tiny homes on wheels, can help their more “traditional” counterparts embrace the future.

  • DAVID WOOD

    I want to put one up in my ex’s back yard

  • Hugo Spinoso

    there is no excuse for forcing house to be connected, they will discconect you if you dont pay the bills, like water or electricity, so what happends if you dont?.
    as for size that is also irrelevant but you could still build a surrounding wall barn stile with no practical pourpose and then what?.

    • Jay Jardin

      Some cities are allowed to condemn your house if you do not connect it to the water company.

        • thetruthmaster1

          The lady in Cape Coral FL, that was trying to live off the grid in the city. Both the water and sewer was on the same bill. She got her water cut off and started collecting rain water, but she kept flushing her toilets, which she did not pay for the septic use. So they were trying to condemn off the grid living. It was more for refusal to pay for a septic bill. So what did we learn there?? Get out of the Cities. Off the grid with your own well and septic and solar. No brainer.

          • I’m sure if she had tried to using a composting toilet or incinerating toilet that would have been unacceptable.

            Apparently they didn’t like her rainwater collection and other things, too.

            Fully agree on moving out of the cities.

      • Hugo Spinoso

        yeah where i live even if you have solar powered panels you have to be connected to the grid, still there is no excuse as the price for it was because power was being provided by electric centrals wich is no longer required, same with water.

      • Frank Blunt

        the house doesn’t have to be condemned in most places to have your occupancy permit revoked. then you are forced by law to evacuate the the premises until the occupancy requirements are met.

      • hook up electricity and water then leave them shut off at the mains.

    • Ed

      In case you haven’t been there. NOT paying the bill only gets you the next bill and the next bill, then a law suit and then a Bankruptcy! Did you read the story? Mandatory hook up means, you will pay the bill even if you don’t use to utility. The little “catch 22” is there is an automatic minimum payment before you use the utility!

      • Hugo Spinoso

        yeah the minimum payment even if you dont use it, but what do you mean bankaruotcy? that even at minimum payment the only outcome for not paying is bankrupcy? or it will force you to pay the old bills?.

        • Ed

          Depends on your lawyer if you go to court!

      • agiftedcurse

        In my area there is basic charged that need to be paid if you use it or not. (have seen it with the sewer anyways) If not paid it is placed on the property taxes and must be paid or the county will sell your property.

      • jae

        Yup, I was SHOCKED to discover that it costs around $23/mo JUST to have electric “services” and run a fridge for a month only! Everything else was unplugged! A fridge kept just cold enough to keep the freezer working while out of town. So, half my electric bill each month is service charges, tax, fees, and fridge. ABSURD!

    • They will take your children away from you for not having electricity or water service to your house.

      • jae

        Which is crazy b/c I know plenty of people who grew up without running water! One of my closest friends grew up without indoor plumbing.

  • kcgoat

    welcome to the land of the free and the brave ,wait that used to be ,but no more

    • Anna Van Z

      It’s now the land of the serf and home of the slave….

  • Stephen Canas

    Wow, if it’s built solid they have no say on the square footage a person lives in. This is a job for a class action lawsuit or regular lawsuit on these states and municipalities so they mind their own business. People are not rich these days. They are poor and if that’s what a person can afford then shame on the mayors and government of these municipalities for their cold hearted callousness. to go against it is to support homelessness. To be able to own a home and property is a means and a way to end homelessness. Companies screwed a lot of people out of pensions for the illusion of 401k retirement on shit and poor pay. maybe they the companies should be made to pay for it now. You hired this person and paid them fuvk , now pay for it plus interest companies!
    It’s a shame that government has to be a fvukhead along with the companies when people find a way not to live under the shackles of poverty and be happy. You always have to fvuk it up , don’t you slime bag politicians? !

    • The Cat’s Vagina (Nasty Woman)

      I’m sure a lot of it is classist bullshit, but there are legitimate concerns with people living in even the most structurally sound “tiny house.” Most people aren’t accustomed to being able to accumulate only the most necessary of possessions. They can end up being MAJOR fire and safety hazards when they’re packed floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall with all the junk modern Americans think they can’t live without.

      • Sami

        It is not the governments job to protect you from yourself.

        • The Cat’s Vagina (Nasty Woman)

          Fair point.

        • Danny Maiorani

          It IS the Government’s job to try and make sure they don’t lose good people, and you don’t kill OTHER people with it. If the thing burns down, unless we make them sign a, “We’re not extinguishing your tiny home when you burn inside it” waiver…still we have to protect other people from their homes from burning too.

          • TechGump

            You don’t need more legislation to hold people accountable for harming others or thier property. Negligence that leads to harm is already criminal. Banning things that only MIGHT on some occasion lead to harming others isn’t a reason to ban things; not at all.
            For example, I shouldn’t cut your tongue out merely becuase your ability to speak might harm others should you decide on the cuff to yell fire in a crowded theater. No, you get to keep your tongue and operate it as you please… less you actually commit real harm with it. Understand the difference?

          • gininitaly
          • Amy Jackson

            So then is it the governments job to ensure that EVERY dwelling is not a fire hazard inside?- 2ooo square-feet packed full of stuff is gonna cause more damage and probably spread more than 300 sqft if it came down to a fire.

          • Razedbywolvs

            Ah that’s cute. I think the government has a different idea of what a good person is.
            61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State

            35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
            20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State

            10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
            5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
            2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State

            1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges

            1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
            1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing

            1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State

            1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse

          • sharkboy

            “It IS the Government’s job to try and make sure they don’t lose good people and you don’t kill OTHER people with it”

            It’s the not the government’s job to give everyone trigger warnings.

            The government is widely know by citizens of this country to not do their jobs. Or be lazy while completing them.

            When you don’t pay your city ordinance for fire rescue service this is what happens:
            http://aptn.ca/news/2015/02/18/fire-department-respond-deadly-fire-fn-3-months-behind-fire-bill/

            They are not required to help you do shit. Yes it’s their job to do so, but their job and their responsibilities are completely different.
            Once you realize that you will stop perpetuating this idea that government’s job is to help and serve and protect you. It is not. Their main goal, much like businesses, is to stay in business. Whether they are subjugating you or investing in you, all they need you to do is stay in line. Meaning ON the grid. Nothing to do with safety.

            If that is too long to read, then my simple solution to your provided problem wouldn’t the government adding electrical hookup to you in the middle of nowhere CAUSE A POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARD? And the water that needs to be hooked up, doesn’t that create environmental problems that you were trying to avoid by decreasing your environmental footprint?

          • jae

            WOW, That’s really sad and scary! If I played the lotto and won a bunch of money, I’d be finding people that need and deserve a decent home and start building them for people. It’s clear we need more housing and people are not meant to live on top of each other. I can’t stand apartment buildings! All the noise and car is far away. Not much privacy too.

          • jae

            No power lines needed if on solar or wind and you drill you own well.

        • gininitaly

          Funny how The Government is nowhere to be found when corporations pollute air, water and land, steal our privacy, control the media, bailout the crooks on Wall St, militarize the police and incarcerate the poor… but always front and center when they choose to abuse some individual citizen for trying to survive off the corporate/consumer grid. All of this has been a war on Democracy since 9/11 and the future looks even more oppressive.

          • bamboodread
          • Robert Broska

            The war against the “Counter Culture” was stepped up by Nixon in the sixties, as any social innovation whatsoever was perceived as a threat. (remember those “dirty Hippies” who didn’t even wear ties?

          • gininitaly

            Oh indeed I do.. and that’s where ‘the war on drugs’ came from too, as well the corporate organizing through the Powell Manifesto: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025400732, created to squeeze out any sign of any civil, social, democratic uprisings by The People.

            This is who we are now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYBJDRmSMRY

          • jae

            Reagan did a lot to screw up the economy too.

          • @gininitaly Actually this started long before 9/11 when I was shocked to learn just how long ago the processed food industry started. But it did ramp up after that event b/c NOW the gov’t had an excuse where they could do more of what they wanted under the guise of terrorism.

            And of course people bought into the BS out of fear.

            I wonder what will happen NEXT that will mysteriously cause fear in people so they look the other way & allow them to continue to control us even more.

            Please join if you are interested…

            https://www.facebook.com/groups/OurFreeSociety/

        • jae

          Yet they do it all the time by taxing things and banning things. Regulations are best when they protect the consumer and the environment. We are in for a long four years fighting these Rep A-holes in Gov who do whatever their gas/oil corporate overlords tell them to do! They are going to make things much worse, fast! When are people going to finally stop voting Rep b/c they THINK that Dems are gonna take guns, they aren’t, and b/c they don’t like abortions (so don’t have one.) They vote against their own interests for these two reasons. Oh, and for some reason they think Dems are amoral, which is absurd when you see how often religious leaders molest kids, or ask their flock for money to buy a jet!

      • erkiefishes

        If that was the case then door to door house checks should be implemented to make sure people do not pack rat stuff in..Mostly problems happen when you have too much space and keep hoarding and hoarding, but maybe this is their next step is the door to door house clean checks to ensure that this legitimate concern is utilized for everyone since a bigger house packed with more stuff is a bigger threat to fires…downsizing would stop that but…..i guess downsizing is the pack rat problem or legitimate concern?

        • Frostbitten

          Haha, no. Nobody is coming in to “check” on how I live around my house. I lived in a tiny RV for years just fine, I don’t need somebody’s opinion on it being safe or not, especially not the government’s.

          • jae

            Lucky you. My landlord walks through once a year!

      • billdeserthills

        Hoarders don’t always rely upon the amount of space they have before cramming full of junk

        • Jennifer Futoransky

          I was just going to say. hoarders fill up any space size with their stuff. If anything having a smaller space might help. As for the homeless it is a very good idea it saves them from breaking into already condemned properties just to have a warm place to sleep.
          And if officals are worried about drugs and increase of criminal activity , they shouldn’t be because there are full sized houses that are drug dens that can hold more then 50 people at a time, which makes it harder and more dangerous for the police and communities. Where as these tiny houses could hold less then 10.
          As for the utilities they shut you off if you don’t pay your bill and send it to collections. then they lower your credit score. Depends on out owing if they take you to court.
          People living in rural areas have septic tanks, potable water and grey water recycling systems yet no action is taken on them….yet. It’s because people are trying to do this in the cities. What happened tto giving rebates and tax breaks on people who are using solar panels? I thought the government was encouraging people to go green and leave less of a carbon foot print. I guess they do as long as it doesn’t cut into profits.

          • jae

            I think it’s been determined that runaway glacier melt cannot be stopped. Even if we stop all coal plants now, the seas will still rise enough to swamp FL, by the end of the century, no matter what. They need to raise Miami up like Venice to keep it alive, but also get around the sinkholes that have yet to open. I think they’ve given up b/c those in S. FL are already doing tests to see what will happen to the Everglades when salt water…well, kills it.

      • Won Word

        Most people aren’t accustomed to being able to accumulate only the most necessary of possessions.

        There’s your fallacy right there. If someone (like myself) were able to get rid of their useless, unnecessary possessions and pare down to the bare minimum, then your argument goes up in smoke (see what I did).

      • sharkboy

        Stupid people die all the time. Not the house’s fault.

      • People who want a tiny house downsize considerably. They’d be stupid to think they can fit EVERYTHING they used to have into a tiny house.

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          Have you met people lately? By and large, they’re not terribly bright.

      • Stephen Canas

        First of all (“you called yourself WHAAA!”) as companies refuse to pay pensions or assist in achieving 401k plans people need an out from renting. This provides that out. Having a place to stay without a obligation to a landlord is a dream but also a nessessity. A place not only to call home but to also truly be home as in ownership is nessessary for the health and welbeing of the individual.

    • Ed

      Were waiting for your check to pay the Lawyers!

    • This is why we NEED to get rid of gov’t…

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/OurFreeSociety/

  • Phil Freeman

    Fuck em, do it anyway!

  • tom dissonance

    “This of course ensures that utility companies, which are big donors to political campaigns and profit immensely from government-enabled monopolies, will always get their cut from every household.”

    bullshit. this doesn’t pass even the most cursory sniff test.

    • geektinker

      I’ve already heard negatively from union representatives about the DIY tiny house movement. If any home inspector for a city or county is a part or has ever been a part of a construction, carpenter, or electricians union, you can almost count on him or the government he represents giving the DIY home builder much grief.

    • Anna Van Z

      Why else do you think mandatory utility hookups are forced upon the public??

      • tom dissonance

        i’d like to know that too, but i don’t trust this flaky ancap site’s analysis to provide any decent answers

        • Danny Maiorani

          My curiousity is I know that the power companies will BUY your electricity back from you. So you sell them solar and wind during the day, and use the rest for yourself. So I don’t know why they’ll PAY you for your generation so that they don’t have to build more powerplants and crap.

          So, why force hookups? For the energy they pay you tiny amounts to generate but helps them in the long run?

        • Anna Van Z

          CLEARLY the policy of forced utility hook-ups is to benefit utilities! Wake yourself up instead of name-calling.

          • tom dissonance

            “clearly” lmao. this is called argument by assertion. show your evidence or shut the fuck up

          • Anna Van Z

            Who else would it benefit? Cui bono? Follow the money. The evidence is obvious for those who care to look.
            Again, your rudeness isn’t helpful, but perhaps that’s all you know.

          • tom dissonance

            oh, that’s not helpful, isn’t it? neither is the sum total of your position being “come on, it’s obvious, wake up sheeple”. perhaps you should do a bit more critical thinking.

  • geektinker

    It may seem extreme, but faced with these sort of policies, I’m tempted to build what I’ll call a “barn” on my land. Then build my tiny home inside of it and add windows (cough), I mean skylights, later.
    Within city limits a two car garage/workshop with a small apartment (cough), I meant storage area over the top of it sounds inviting. If you don’t need the garage space, rent it out for storage.
    Honestly, I’m not in the market for a tiny house, but I can relate to those who are. Personally, my plan is to build a moderate sized home out of shipping containers. Of course any city, county, or state government which would ban tiny homes is going to give me and any other container home builders much grief.

    • This is exactly what I intend to do, even though I don’t have to worry about building codes. I’m planning on a metal building 40 feet wide, 30 feet deep, and framing in a 12 foot by 30 foot living space on one side. The rest will be work space/shop area.

      The site already has electricity, water, and a propane tank, so I don’t even have to worry about utility hookups. I’ve just got to finish tearing down the old homestead and rebuild.

      • elsie.castle

        One year have passed since I finally left my office job and it changed my life… I started freelancing over internet, for a company I discovered online, several hrs /a day, and I make much more than i did on my last work… My last month payment was for 9000 dollars… The best thing about this gig is that i have more free time with my kids…
        http://secure52.com

      • geektinker

        Sounds like a great plan. My “workshop” is planned as a part of the house behind my garage. Entry to the workshop will be from my office and through the garage itself. The rest of the house will be attached and to one side of the garage/workshop with the utility room/ mud room/ laundry room going between them. It will look like a medium to large home, but the garage/workshop will take up 1/2 to 1/3 of the space.

    • Danny Maiorani

      This is what I’m doing as well. I’m a professional mechanic, I’m going to build a shop for my cars and projects and stuff, tiny house gets parked inside. Can you imagine how that would help witth the heating?

  • David Blume

    I can tell you this much this is a good way to be jacked with by cops, fire depts and every authority that thinks they know how you should live.

  • brokenpony225

    You only own your land until someone with money wants to take it. Now, apparently your dream is allowed only when it conforms to the money mans requirements to uphold the profits to his utility stocks, and property taxes. This is a prime example of government grown too big that seeks only to serve itself and its players pockets. I say, with this in mind and all the other corruption and negligence occurring in government, it is time to show them who is boss and paying their wages.

    • Matty Welch

      Come to Maine, people apparently love living off the grid. Of course, be prepared to fail over time, but hey, live the dream.

      • brokenpony225

        Personally, I find Maine to be the most beautiful state. As for myself, I would never live in a tiny home, I am far too claustrophobic. My 2000 sq ft home is tiny enough. I do feel people should be able to live in a tiny home if they chose. As for sustainability, I feel it can be achieved, but in terms of solar, those in the north would not have the advantages of the warmer regions I would think. Solar is a ripoff in my opinion, you pay too much for the little you receive. That’s just my opinion. I do plan to eventually build a wind generator on my property in the deep south. The gov says the state is not a candidate for wind generated electricity except on the coast. However, they haven’t stood on my hill where the wind blows most of the time. There again, I find wind generators to be so overpriced as to negate any benefits of energy saved, hence I will build my own, and it will not have to be high in the air where it is a danger to birds, yeah the wind blows here that consistently close to the ground. As for Maine, enjoy living in your gorgeous state, and send some of your snow my way because we rarely see it. If I lived in Maine rather than humid Alabama I would look into a geothermal heat pump, with wood heat for backup if you can get it free. The geothermal doesn’t have to fight against the cold as a conventional heat pump does. Repairs to the ground lines are costly unless you have your own backhoe or can borrow or rent one, however you can save 50 to 70 percent on energy costs with them according to the EPA. I like the idea of a man in N. Al who pulls air out of a cave on his property, 55 degree cool air when he wants it, and run through a scrubber to ensure clean air. His fan blower runs on solar, and he has AC for free, cooler than any other available. Now that’s redneck engineering! 🙂

        • Sneakymaus

          Solar is only expensive because Big Oil, and China, are deliberately manipulating the stock market in favor of fossil fuels while they invest in sustainable energy, then, when they’ve gained control of the market, it’ll become more affordable as fossil fuels begin to be phased out. It’s deliberate. It doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

          As for Maine being too far north, that’s silly. Germany is farther north and they use solar to produce over 40% of their total electricity needs.

          • brokenpony225

            I was thinking of the need to keep snow off the panels. Here in the deep south the people I know who had solar said the sun was destroying them. I never heard of such, but they didn’t keep them but for two years before they had to be removed. In addition, my sister had a new shingle roof put on two summers ago, good name brand shingles and they have already curled, and the roofing company said the sun is destroying them all over the south, true or not I don’t know, but I do know it was true of hers in TN and my brothers in AL, which is why I am going with a metal roof. Maybe the solution for solar in the south is glass panels rather than plastic. Just a thought, I know nothing of solar.

          • Jen

            I’ve been off-grid further north than Maine (WA state) for going on 13 years, mostly with solar.
            It sounds like brokenpony is referencing solar from the 1970s, which had steep learning curve. Solar today is efficient and doable (even in places with a lot of snow like eastern WA and Germany, where I grew up (which is up to 95% of its energy needs from renewables, mostly solar).

          • Martin Rocca

            yes I totally agree after being on solar for 20 yrs.

          • Lyle Glass

            She bought bad shingles probably made in China. There is a right way and wrong ways to install them too. My neighbors and I have shingle and they last for a long time and I live in Texas where we also get 100+ heat and sun that will roast a ham.

          • TOPDOG1

            Only about one in a hundred roofers remove the cellophane strips on the backs of the shingles. This is designed to lock and seal the shingles. If these strips have not been removed you have a faulty roof system. Without these seals it becomes quite easy for them later to remove the unsealed shingles.If this is so, I suggest taking the roofers to court and ask for a full refund and associated costs..

          • thetruthmaster1

            Avoid mounting solar panels on roofs, why mess up your roof. Just set up a separate mounting brackets at ground level so panels are 3 Ft off the ground. Gives you easier access etc. It all depends on your situation and what direction your house faces, solar sunshine exposure coverage for seasons.

          • TOPDOG1

            Raising the solar panels several inches above the roof structure should make a very impressive and ventilated cooling effect. It would add a layer of shade. Likewise if the air conditioning system was mounted above a collection tank, on the roof with the coil section left open (or micro filter) to prevent the micro spray that causes legionnaires diereses condensation will supply all the distilled water a small family needs. If conserved it would supply a large family.

          • acme

            And of course lot size/exposure.

          • acme

            Solar panels are like everything else, some better than others.

          • thetruthmaster1

            Solar is NOT expensive. That is a long fallacy that needs to be changed. You can buy 4 Solar Panels with a 25 year warrantee for about .65 cents per watt, So a 300 Watt Panel is about $195. Buy 4 of these panels, a $500 Outback 80 Controller, a $275 – 3000/6000 Watt Inverter, 12Volt to 110, and 8x 6 Volt Batteries, hooked in series for 12V, then paralleled for 12 Volt consistency. Powers my entire property, 300 Ft Tiny house, fridge, A/C, lights, internet, power tools, and small freezer. Total cost. about $5K including mounts, Payback period ROI Return on Investment for me is 4 to 5 years. Batteries will last for 10 years if properly maintained, just keep the distilled water levels up in the batteries, check that one a month. I have not had an Power Co Electrical Bill in 20+ months. The Sun is free. Fascism is not. Choose wisely.

          • brokenpony225

            It is in AL, where did you purchase yours from? Wind is free also, and this hillside I am on pulls wind up it nearly all the time. Wind will blow in my face all day long, and the tree tops never move, so I don’t need a tall wind generator. I wish I knew this type thing, but medicine is my field, not engineering.

          • Alton Clark

            I find $400 a month will do the same thing at my house .

          • I find that $400 is nearly two weeks pay at minimum wage. Doesn’t work for much of America.

          • jae

            That’s so cool! I wish I could do that. I have a place to put a tiny home, but not the money or knowledge to set up the same system you have, and to build a tiny home. It’d save me A LOT of money in rent, but I don’t know of anyone who would help with it. I’m willing to learn and help with the building of a tiny home, but again, no funds unless I go live with family for a year or two to save up, or get lucky somehow.

        • Martin Rocca

          Solar is working fine for me after an initial investment of 3-4k 20 yrs ago and replacing batteries twice, my bill comes out to approx $5.00 per month after dividing the costs to renew batteries.

        • acme

          I was involved in the program that originated or developed much of that tech, and can assure you rednecks had little to do with it.

    • Methusela

      Corpocracy, plutocracy, authoritarian or any other title one fancies.

      What remains is a nation void of liberty for the citizenry. Tyranny is the term.

      The US, where freedom from liberty still exists

      -Cynicles

    • Conor D. Bohannon

      The fact that you are forced to pay the state rent (property tax) every year in order to keep possession of your “land” is prima facie evidence that you don’t actually own even that. When you truly own something you cannot be forced to keep paying for it in perpetuity.

  • Ibcamn

    the county’s are afraid everyone will want one and they will have nothing in their pockets and the county will have no need for them…..it all comes down to money,period.

    • jae

      Not everyone would want one. Kinda small for families, the thing the Gov hasn’t seemed to notice is the huge number of single people. Many of whom are single of their own choosing. Adults in the 40s and up can’t be expected to live with strangers and that’s what they are trying to do. The boomer gen is going to cause a huge drain on the country and they are only just retiring. If you can stay married to a person and work together, you have much better chance at living a better life financially speaking. They need to change laws b/c too many single people are not getting any tax breaks and are left out of inheritance from a spouse or death of a parent, unlike married people.

      • Ibcamn

        considering how 3rd wave feminism is spreading across the country like the plague[or at the least cancer]and what it does to men and the traditional family,yes,everybody will be wanting one on every street corner…

  • Chris Freethinker

    The whole world is turning to greedy comsumerist bullshit. Let’s hurry up and start WW3 so we can reboot the human race.

  • TechGump

    But big Gov’t is good, right? It’s something we do together. Without law there is no order, right? Gov’t has my best interest in mind. We must, at all cost, continue.

  • Alantar

    Isn’t the right to find or build shelter on one’s own land a traditional right?

    Isn’t it therefore protected by the 10th Amendment?

    When exactly did we give up this right?

    Or is this just another case when the government took away basic human rights without asking us?

    • Susan Elizabeth McKinnon

      They have been doing that for years (usually buried in some 2000 page Bill no one has the time to read)

      • Robert Broska

        Such as the NDAA, the bank bailouts, the so-called “Patriot Act”,, etc.

    • Todd D. Diers

      No different than cities shutting down kids selling lemonade in front of their house. They didn’t pay $150 for a permit and didn’t pay the health inspector to inspect for safe and clean practices so are in violation of city ordnance. Same as putting any permanent structure on “your” land. If you don’t pay your dues to the city and ask for their blessings you are in violation of their laws. They arrested a man in Colorado for living off of the land in the mountains. They simply couldn’t stand having someone not under their control and living peacefully on “government” (actually the people’s) land. “It’s just not safe and unsanitary”. I don’t know how they think Homo sapiens sapiens lived for hundreds of thousands of years without their taxes and laws. Or how are ancestors lived a mere 100 years ago.

    • acme

      Americans are big on Freedom, but seem to define it as the right to tell everybody else how to live.

  • Mmm…. I remember there was a story in America…. everyone was sick and tired of being taxed and billed about everything… and then there was a big fight…and some were kicked out of America…. I wonder if something like this might happen again… I wonder who might be kicked out of America this time….though I think “they” just bought 5 billion bullets or something…. and are turning all the Wal-Marts into Fema Camps…. could be a little tricky…

    • Won Word

      You probably need more aluminum foil, bub.

  • charkee

    Extend this rule to Asia, Africa or Latin America and it would be revolution everywhere, but what would Americans do? Not much. In these places 600 sq ft home is a luxury.

  • Matty Welch

    Oh my God. Yes, everything the government does is some kind of conspiracy to revoke your freedoms. Freak. Maybe your neighbors don’t want their home values to go down, is that even a review possibility in your mind?! I certainly wouldn’t want a bunch of crappy little trailers to show up in my neighborhood. You need some sort of organized waste disposal, water standards, building standards, or is all just going to be a huge mess. How you don’t see that I can’t fathom.

    • Susan Elizabeth McKinnon

      America is not filled with high end developments – there are plenty of rural areas that tiny homes could live in without hurting your property values. Am fairly sure tiny home owners are not interested in living in $500,000/home developments. And tiny homes are built to code. Seriously……………smh

  • ben kavanagh

    The current policies are all about maintaining inequality and it is perpetrated by the people who own the current housing stock, not necessarily large corporations. Those that own housing deny dense housing to maintain housing scarcity. It is reasonable from their selfish perspective. I thihk the masses of the population who don’t own homes need to be equally ‘selfish’ by electing representatives who represent them, people like Kshama Sawant. But just as important is the need to create a supportive and cooperative society and economy so that people don’t feel so vulnerable to the cruel tides of fate, including public health care, social jobs, disability assistance, etc. When people are supported by society it is easier to give up greed and individualistic thinking.

  • The job of government is to protect the business interests and the wealthy from the rest of you (the horde-lings), this is how it has been for thousands of years and America is no different.

    But there is a path to true freedom:

    Zeitgeist Ending
    https://youtu.be/0T9fENn_zQY

    http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/FAQ

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/the-venus-project/

    • billdeserthills

      Nobody wants your Globalist Agenda BS

  • claudia sofia

    I am planning on building a small house for when I retire, the municipality has a minimum sqft req. What I’m going to do is build my permanent living section connected to central heating ( living in Canada most of your house expenses for towards that), and have a bedroom/washroom ” guest” area that u can “unplug” and close off for when not using it, it will have electrical board heaters,
    As per connecting to services, I will connect and I will have off grid sources such rain water collection and wind panels and will build it so it’s very energy efficient- skylights, airtight, etc. so even if connected, my spending is minimal,
    I agree that we are getting squeezed poor by gov and rich people, I just feel bad for young people and people that can’t afford leaving the rat race, I see my children and unless i help them to buy land/house, they’d be condemned to rent /worry etc. Etc…

    • billdeserthills

      If they can’t buy land or a house you’ll hafta help them buy a car too & help pay their rent as well

      • claudia sofia

        Cars aren’t so though to get a loan, buying land/house, that is ridiculously expensive!, 🙁

        • billdeserthills

          There are ways to make buying a home cheaper, even if you hafta buy the land first and put up a modular

    • Robert Broska

      A passively designed “solar” strawbale walled house can maintain a 72* heat on the Canadian border for $100/year, because of the super-insulated walls of R-40-50, etc.

      • claudia sofia

        Thank you Robert 🙂

      • sharkboy

        i saw a doc about this in the mid 2000’s. They were resistant to tornadoes and the project was targeted at the midwest tornado alley.

  • George Shiflett

    you tell the gov to gov fucked
    I support holding the people that will put trump or clinton in office to be held responsible for everything they do to this country , good or bad , but especially the bad

  • Wendy Colby

    There has to be a way to legally challenge the laws.Petitions from everyone who is environmentally friendly? The backing of Hollywood?This country is far from the Democratic Republic of freedom it was purported itself to be.I would hate to see another French Revolution type of deal, there has to be some way to fix things.

  • George Shiflett

    the beginning of communism in this country , the gov telling you what you can live in , if you can give food or feed homeless people , taking your rights away to collect rain water , telling you that you will eat GMO foods , COMMUNISM PEOPLE OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMUNIST , Just like RUSSIA used to be , they tell you where to work , what school to go to what you can eat , how many kids you can have , how much money you can make and what speech you may use , used to be Russia , NOWS ITS THE COMMUNIST REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES

    • Susan Elizabeth McKinnon

      Way more truth to this than people even begin to realize. Every time I hear someone say “It’s the government’s job to……..Make sure people don’t rat pack stuff???…….try to make sure they don’t lose good people???” What? Good people can’t live in a house smaller than 700 SF why exactly? People who choose this lifestyle are hoarders and poverty stricken homeless people?? UGH Am so very sick of people’s negative assumptions about people who choose differently than what they think is “normal”.

      • sharkboy

        Way more truth to this than people even begin to realize. Every time I hear someone say “It’s the government’s job to…

        I want to kill myself because about 0.5% of them have a general idea about how the systems work. And 50% of that 0.5% have bad ideas.

    • Anna Van Z

      This government is the opposite of communist! I think a lot of people throw terms around they don’t really understand.

      Nearly everything about this government has been either privatized or operates solely for the interests of industry and corporations. The enmeshment of government and corporate power is known as FASCISM.

      Hence we have an FDA and CDC that operates for the benefit of Big Pharma, and a Forest Service that operates for the benefit of the timber industry, a BLM that facilitates private ranching interests’ plunder and destruction of public lands, etc, etc, etc.

      Banning tiny homes and mandating utility hook-ups benefits INDUSTRY. Get it?? That’s NOT communism!

      • it is also Corporatism, as well as Fascism. where the wants and demands of big corporations are placed above those of the people, like DAPL for example. Corporations basically run the country as they own the politicians, as do the richest people.

        • Anna Van Z

          Yep!

      • sharkboy

        This government is the opposite of communist! I think a lot of people throw terms around they don’t really understand.
        Jackpot +74 upvotes

    • sharkboy

      obviously you never looked up what communism is.

  • Deplorable Me

    “We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power
    of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our
    political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern
    ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

    James Madison

  • MrCee

    This is simply about money and control!

  • Sneakymaus

    “The gov’t” is not “criminalizing sustainable living.” Some local governments are overrun with uptight people who are convinced that tiny homes – and other sustainable methods – are bad, so the citizens are VOTING to stop them (sadly, this is how democracy works sometimes.)

    However, some local governments are very supportive of it, as are the citizens who vote to allow it. That doesn’t mean the “gov’t” is “promoting” sustainable living. It’s the individual communities who pick and choose what they want to support in their communities.

    Stop using inflammatory language to make it look like there is a a “gov’t” plot to oppress people. It’s not a plot. It’s the result of ignorant, greedy citizens who are using the gov’t to oppress people. If we educate them, and encourage the rest of the citizens to support it, then it will work.

    • sharkboy

      I dont like polarizing statements as much as the next guy, but is still feel that there is some sort of collusion on whatever differing levels it may exist at that causes these issues to be led in one direction or another.
      If they had told us that we need to make at least $125K a year to live in a house over 700SQFT we would be fighting over that.

      Point being: Everyone is trying to protect what they see as their inalienable right.

      For the Rich that could mean making a choice that the poor disagree with(“You want a raise? I’ll hire someone else.”)

      For the Poor that could mean losing your rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (“I refuse to accept tyranny on my homestead”)

      /Sarcasm Obviously they have the same magnitude of effect to both sides.

  • martymarsh

    To go this route you are stopping the money wheel, the corrupt will not allow that.

  • most tiny homes are about 100 square feet or less, as I have looked at some of them. there are also many at one of the recreational parks in my area that are permanent year round dwelling for some people or as a 2nd home for the summer months in Michigan. (my neighbor was a security guard for one of these parks.)
    again it is all about big brother and the corps taking every last penny you own. whatever happened to that smaller government we kept hearing about from the GOP, as they still control most the government and laws in the country ?
    they demand you have a house of a certain size, but if you are homeless or cannot afford what government demands, living in the streets in the elements is okay as long as they can’t see you and you cannot be fed by any charities.

  • And for Wasilla, Alaska to jump on the band wagon of banning tiny homes, shame of the corrupt politicians (S.H.P.) who encourage this. I looked at houses in Alaska about a decade ago as I have friends up there and some of the house being sold for year round occupancy are less than 50 square feet and that one was $50,000, 6 sq.ft X 8sq.ft. some were 10 X 10 or maybe 12 sq.ft. and then there was the super expensive large houses out of the range of people who would be living in a tiny house.
    America, land of the Free, Yeah, right !

  • Bryan David Hale

    what the fuck business is it of the government what size people make their homes or how they get water and electricity??? who the fuck wants the government micromanaging peoples lives like this??? why hasnt their been an armed revolution in this backwards ass shit-stained constitution of a country???

  • InalienableWrights

    It’s funny that the big government that Libtards beg for, is causing them problems. Duh!

  • Silver Surfer

    welcome to america the home of the free

  • Namma

    Folks are losing their freedoms because they cannot be bothered to find out what to do about it.

    Since EACH STATE IS DIFFERENT don’t ask me how to go about changing things in YOUR state.

    – – Go to your state .gov site and start getting educated.

    – – Find other people LOCALLY who want change.

    – – Find groups that are already established that may know more about it and get them to educate you.

    – – Take a local community (or other) college course in how your state works.

    – – STOP expecting that someone else will do the hard work for you. They won’t.

    – – If you’re unwilling to log off of Facebook, Twitter, and other “socially acceptable” mental re-engineering sites and get involved in life at the level of real, then stop complaining about it. No one likes to hear a weenie crying about something when they won’t get up off their behind and DO something.

    – – If you want a social network where people are actually working on change, try Minds.com or Diaspora (diasporafoundation.org), both of which allow sign-ups under a pseudonym, have encryption, and allow free speech.

    If coding and developing is your thing and you value people and privacy then try Friendica.com and help build something that will assist others with making

    If you’re really into art, music, crafts or photography then go to ello.co (ALSO privacy aware and supports pseudonyms) I’m sure the arts community wherever your are local to would support people’s rights to live as they wish.

    – – – – Learn how to use a private social networking site for making groups from your local area where you can “meet up” and start supporting each other to change what is wrong in your local area, your counties and your state.

    btw, forget the federal government, they have little interest in you outside of the taxes they take from your paycheck.

  • Peter Belanger

    Seems really silly to waste time banning tiny houses, as if they will ever ‘take over’ and ruin economies. It’s a niche interest, attractive to only a few people. Most folks want a lot more space. And if you live somewhere with unpleasant weather, spending all your time on the porch of a tiny home will not be very fun.

    So, fine, whatever. Just let people build whatever size houses they want!

    Enough of the petty tyranny!

  • Tyrone Ward

    OK so I suppose that since the government is criminalizing this avenue, they have some sort of suitable alternative? Or do they prefer that people live on the streets? If they are going to criminalize this, someone should sue to force them to be held accountable by providing an adequate suitable alternative. The government has no business forcing people into situations making it mandatory without the ability to provide the service they make mandatory.

  • David William Reid

    Keep voting for these corporate globalist and slavery is your end.

  • Jon … a Baptist

    heaven forbid affordable housing keep folks from being lifelong slaves to the banks

  • Paul Skvorc

    Half the truth is a lie. The above propaganda is a lie because it tells only half the story. While there ARE liberties being tread upon by SOME of these housing regulations/codes, what was NOT ‘reported’ in this ‘article’ (propaganda document), were the PROBLEMS these types of houses can cause for the COMMUNITY as a whole. I’d list the many problems here, but all that would do is bring the idiots out of the woodwork. Here’s one: Do you want your neighborhood to look like the Shanty-town outside Rio De Jenerio? Seek the TRUTH. In EVERY walk of life. The TRUTH is VERY difficult to find these days, and this site is NOT a place to find it.

    • sharkboy

      In general there is no “site” that will deliver the truth. Its there and you need to keep looking after you “find” it.

      About the neighborhood looking shoddy, Iive in an historic neighborhood in coral gables and everytime you see them demolish a classic antique home an put up a flat white wall modern (modern is so ugly) 2 car garage and 2 car driveway 3 story Single Family Residence

      Personally I think that is ugly so in that essence, I would [if i was planning on it] consider how your eyesore of a development would look next to the surrounding area.

      In fact there is a place in Prague that you cant change any structure on your house or business but you can paint it whatever color you want and because the architecture still matches the mass array of colors is not as displeasing as they originally feared it would and it is now an attraction in the city.

      People in general need to have more encompassing, engaged, and thoughtful ideas than what we normally present to those around us.

  • Vickstir

    Several mostly rural counties in Georgia (Jackson & Madison, I’m sure there are more) have declared any new houses must be minimally 1400 sq ft – which is totally crazy!

  • Joseph Glynn

    Land monopoly is the bedrock of capitalism and colludes with the private banks monopoly on issuing and allocating credit money.
    We are controlled spatially and made comply with the planning vision and values of existing property owners.
    Even in the land of the free you must rent or buy their kinda house!
    Sustainable development is ILLEGAL, its as if small homes were a communist threat!

  • Alton Clark

    Can’t live in anything less that 1100 sq. ft. in my county , in Ga. unless on wheels !

  • TOPDOG1

    The American Dream is just that “‘A dream”, Many of us woke up a long time ago. The wealthy and massive corporations wish only a subjugated working stock to support them. Elitist’s who attempt to appear as benevolent can afford to do so as they have stripped wealth from the citizens and by profiteering from the poverty stricken and homeless whom they themselves are responsible for creating.

  • Joseph Wisgirda

    There is no valid argument against tiny homes. Government can go screw itself. You failed in housing us so we are going to do it ourselves. Screw your building code, your code inspectors – all of them. The building code has gone from a tool to make sure people live in decent housing to a tool of political manipulation. Screw your taxes … you and the rest of corporate America did this to us. How DARE you tell us we can’t house ourselves in a way that we choose … time for the building code to be completely revised to include small-scale living ….

  • derfelcadarn

    The very definition of government IS mindless authoritarianism, which is precisely the reason the least government is the best government. How long will it take denizens of the land of freedom and liberty to realize that simple fact ?

  • Tiny Household

    If the discussion continues and the “fad” does not go away things will begin to change. A group of dedicated tiny home owners and builders have already opened the door to IRC changes for 2018. Although they do not include THOW yet, it is a move in the right direction allowing for small homes on foundations. http://www.tinyhousehold.com

  • Kian O’Floinn

    More hipster cry baby bull shot. Buy property or lease it, then put your hippy ghetto house on wheels there.
    Land on my dirt and I’ll burn that toilet on wheels to the ground.

  • CJ

    Everyone commenting and the articles author should watch this. https://youtu.be/ZfLAKgJGc2g

  • Danny Faulk

    If you file for a homestead exemption (meaning you establish that the property is your only home you personally own and that you reside in it) you can be exempt from paying any property taxes until the property value goes over a certain amount. Even then the value you are taxed on is minus the homestead threshold. Mine is up to 24000 or something.