tiny homes

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.

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Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo.
  • yoshi saidit

    “Tiny Homes Banned in U.S.”

    “The United States is located in the District of Columbia” (California Commercial Code 9307 H),
    And, the U.S. is a foreign corporation with respect to a state (USC 28 Sec 3002)

  • yoshi saidit

    You ask them if YOU own these things, Your car, your land,
    If no: Are you saying I cant own personal or private property?
    If yes: Then how can you tax what isnt yours to tax?

    Go get your land status changed to “private”,
    Residential, agriculture, commercial, are all corporate lands of commerce, and are taxable.

  • yoshi saidit

    Putting solar panels on your roof actually helps. it keeps the weather from damaging your roof, and it helps keep the roof/attic/house cool.
    If your are in a colder climate, and with metal roofing, then Yes, I would suggest mounting in a sub location.

  • thetruthmaster1

    I live off the Grid, in a Private Subdivision with all private roads with a road assessment of only $50 a year. Most people’s annual Property Taxes goes to the Public Schools. 52% of my property Taxes in the city went to public schools and I did not even have any kids. So now I am subsidizing other people reckless sex lives. That’s how messed up and Communism of a system we have. The Gas Taxes pays for the roads, thats why gas is so expensive per gallon. Go live off the Grid way out in the boonies, use solar for electric and dig a well and have your own septic. You can do it. Its all possible. Get out of the Cities and their F*ckup Rules.

    • Corey Gray

      Yup…doing similar, myself. Rural AZ acreage, only outside connection is power will be run (cheaper and better than power storage for overnights and 3 full days of reserve…instead, the power you collect gets used, and excess pumped back into the grid, and under federal law, THEY have to pay you exactly what they’d have charged for the same amount of power…so it ends up paying me to put in panels and a wind generator, and skipping the marine deep cycles.

      But my point is, your taxes still are what pay for the roads leading to your private subdivision. You’re not getting TO it without maintained roads at some point…doesn’t matter if it’s 3 miles of dirt or gravel private road before you get to the private neighborhood, it’s a city, state, or county built and maintained road that attaches to that private road…your property taxes, in part, support those roads.

  • The War on Tiny Homes is merely the latest war that the criminal enterprise known as “The Government” has declared on peaceful individuals.

    Not one of its wars has anything to do with “safety”. Every one of them has everything to do with CONTROL.

    The criminal enterprise known as “The Government” is a collection of sociopathic control freaks whose real agenda is acquiring and maintaining control over other human beings. In their diseased minds, this control provides them with a sense of security.

    The fact that acquiring and maintaining such control requires extortion, kidnapping, or even the mass murder of peaceful individuals who are merely trying to live their own lives, is not something that concerns them.

    Until We the People cease being We the Sheeple, and realize that we can live without government, or more accurately, that we cannot live WITH government, we will continue to victimized by these predators in human skins.

  • Michelle-Michal Korn
  • Bj Saladino

    I’m in my early 20’s and idk what to do

  • Arthur Brooks

    Welcome to the land of the free and home of the brave.

  • scotfahey

    Once upon a time (Circa 1990) Leander Texas had single and double wide homes, on one acre lots. Homes on large (1/2 acre or better) lots. Google moved in and land values jumped, Zoning was adopted. I took the time to read the adopted code. Not real clear who drafted the version that was adopted. End game the big one acre lots with double wide units, become 4 sub units with homes starting at $600K. …I do not approve of zoning.