Tiny can be Mighty: Affordable Tiny Housing’s Time has Come

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I was pleased this weekend to see that my hometown newspaper, IBJ, was talking about a topic that most don’t want to address: affordable housing. In Indiana, and many other states in the country, the price of housing has had double-digit spikes in the past year.

After reading it — it seems that housing is in a similar situation to my own industry, pharmaceuticals. PBMs get the brunt of causing drug prices to skyrocket, and it seemed in the paper that local governments often drive up the prices of housing for their tax bases through aesthetic requirements in addition to square footage requirements.

Both pharmaceuticals and housing are must-haves for productive members of society, friends, so it’s time to start taking these skyrocketing price issues head-on.

That, and tiny housing doesn’t need to be UGLY housing either!

Today, I’ll shelve the drug problem (other than to say in full disclosure I work for Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, PBC, but the opinions I give online are always my own and not necessarily those of my employer), and instead, I want to focus on the housing problem instead, because to me, having a safe place to live should be available to those who want it.

Here are tiny house communities and ideas that are cool to look at, probably awesome to live in, and definitely have smaller footprints:

  1. Mobile Loaves & Fishes — Community First — Austin, TX: I’ve kept my eye on this subdivision for a while now, and what I like about it is that it’s not just a bunch of tiny homes in one place, but truly a community with a mission to take people out of homelessness. More on their movement here. And here is a list of other tiny home communities. Tiny Homes Detroit has a video of their community here.
  2. Tiny Urban Escapes — Right here in Indianapolis, we’ll have a tiny shipping container hotel, so you can try out tiny living. What a great way to experiment and see if a tiny house could be for you! And, AirBnB has an entire section of tiny homes you can rent to try out, here.
  3. Running a design contest — I love this one — a tiny house design competition. Here are the winners from 2021, and 2022’s competition is still ongoing.
  4. Boxabl — The idea of multiple generations living on an ‘estate’ is not a new one. What is new is the type of 2nd home on the estate. Boxabl can be one of those — IF your community allows for multiple homes on one property and you can get utility hookups. Elon Musk was rumored to live in a Boxabl casita, which was false — but he does live in a $50K house in Texas. Of course, we can’t leave this one without touching on the granny pods — this video has 3 that are pricey, but great for grandma and grandpa!
  5. Kit, anyone? If you’re more of a DIYer, you can check out several kits now for tiny homes. Some of these are on wheels.
  6. A tiny festival? Festivals of tiny houses are here.
  7. A tiny dose of inspo — from Country Living is here.

Both healthcare and housing do not need to be out of reach for people. We need to make both more affordable. I’m thrilled to see that the Indiana legislature is final going to study these, because Hoosiers need affordable housing, for an affordable life.

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Erin L. Albert

Erin L. Albert

Pharmacist, author, lawyer, intrapreneur. Opining is my own. www.erinalbert.com