Tiny Homes Banned In U.S. At Increasing Rate As Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living

tiny-homes-inhabitatBy Justin Gardner

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.

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.


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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.

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 voted down “because some residents were afraid the town would be overrun with them.” There will be no minimalist, environmentally friendly living in Hadley.

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.

Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.

Image Credit: Inhabitat

  • Demonocrac

    So what are you doing as a prepper or off grid wannabe living in a city? Move to the country, not in town. Problem solved!

    • Pyra Gorgon

      How long will that solve the problem?

      • Jas

        Till the troops get there of course.

  • Anarch

    Leftard goobermint against innovation!? How “progressive”. Just more lefTARD hypocrisy.

  • eddysachs

    This is brazenly coerced ‘Slavery’…abject racketeering…essentially mafia-style ‘loan-shark’ enforcement by criminal gov. thuggery…end of story…period.

    • blue579

      Russian saying on govt corruption: “For my enemy the law! For my friends, anything.”

      • Pyra Gorgon

        lol figures.

      • Northwest_Raised

        Bada Bing! Russians are wise people.

    • William D. Ray

      Well Eddy it after all was a story about our government ;<)

  • Fred Quimble

    Sustainable living is possible without sacrificing hard fought 1st world standards of living. Don’t fall for 3rd world vignettes as the solution. They’re not. They only contribute to the acceptance of the Globalization of poverty and the guilt and shame of the 1st world and the western worlds 2000 year building of civilization and standards of living. Sustainable living with FIRST WORLD standards of living is possible. You don’t have to live in a coat closet. Next step? A cardboard box. Don’t defend the indefensible.

    • blue579

      TPTB co-opt the terminology and the title of this article is misleading as it does a twist on UN Sustainable authoritarian dictates for stack ’em & pack ’em human corrals and conflates that with “loss of freedom” to be shoved and squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces. Reverse psychology?

      • Pyra Gorgon

        Neither. Default back to “racketeering” and enslavement methodology as their focused reasons.

        TPTB will run YOU out of your tiny home and coerce you into their rackets of public utilities, code enforcement, blah blah, THEN after they steal your ability to survive without them, THEN they will again STEAL your PERSON (your physical body) and either place you into a FEMA camp for disposal, OR they will place you into their “Smart Cities” cubicle kennels and force you to pay for a home that is no different than the tiny home you started with. It’s all racketeering, they getcha comin’ ~n`a~goin’.

        • blue579

          Excellent, Pyra & good catch. I’m ‘splaining the *process* of driving the herds down that very road….the art of manufactured dissent and fog of Pavlovian ‘opinion’.
          …..shoe horn into shoe boxes, next confiscate…

          • Pyra Gorgon

            ….shoe horn into shoe boxes, next confiscate…
            You have the right of it!

            Careful while driving herds that you do not get caught in the crush at a bottleneck point. Those “bottleneck points” are places where you lack full knowledge or things have been hidden from understanding, turbulent places where the incentive to be wrong is greater than the pride of being right, and wildcard bulls who want to bust up the herd to pick some heifers out. The best method is to let them drive their own way through those points while you maintain open path on other side easily seen by the ‘leaders’ of the herd. If you want to sort the herd, use a squeeze chute and funnel direction but know that herds hate squeeze chutes.

            That was all allegorical. I’m sure you know what I am saying. 🙂 Thanks to Hanz and reading Plato my mind has been trying allegories on for size.

          • blue579

            Great visualization, Pyra! Nothing reflects timeless ‘forms’ as well as a resonating allegory, metaphorical mirrors. Cinderella slippers, unique fits. No worries, I’m not a herder, more of a light bearer – honored to serve in whatever capacity I am guided. Ya, getting caught up in herds, splinter herds, and ancillary herds is the new AI wave of nonlinear disinformation, as it’s termed by the spooks themselves. A picture emerges of a tangle of stairs leading to nowhere as in Escher ‘s Relativity (hat tip to Eddy). Thanks for the allegorical warning, I got it! Hanz doin’ his magic. 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77a4a46d8738d56673f0bad2d52b63cea967813d39aae496047b40bf3ec46938.jpg

          • Pyra Gorgon

            Love that piece of art. Escher knew how to captivate the eye, no doubt.

            You bring the light, I’ll bring the beer. 😀 Just brewed a new batch and hope it turns out nicely; big grain bill for me. Nothing makes a home smell wonderful like baking bread, brewing beer, or slow simmering a savory stew. (icky muddy cold rain days are perfect brew days!)

          • blue579

            Thanks, microbrews, my favorite! Doesn’t get any better, rain or shine. 🙂 My city is notorious for being the US microbrew capital, a “mile high”, and the worst airport ‘art’ in the world! lol

    • mary murphy

      I’m sorry, but I believe that cities who want to provide “coat closets” for those living ion the streets with NO shelter and less saftey, should be able to consider these tiny houses for their homeless people. They are probably far better than most “public housing: I have seen.

  • James Bennett

    Don’t use the word ‘Sustainable’.
    Because that is now the language of UN Agenda 21.
    Adherence to which is the reason why your area is likely experiencing government restriction to this benign idea.
    The land use / housing / transportation tenets are likely being imposed on your community.
    Propaganda and a resolve to install Stack ‘n Pack ‘Affordable Housing’ along with it’s ‘Smart Growth’ hardscape in dense urban ‘Priority Development Areas’.

    See, the controllers want ‘Affordable Housing’. Their brand of affordable housing.
    Which isn’t really affordable at all.

    Trailers, guest cottages, single family homes converted to a triplex, garage units, tiny homes…

    that’s different.

    • CompletelyOutsane

      Funny how sustainable, when used by leftist donkeys, is an acceptable thought. When put into practical use and real sustainability – not so much. Government, at all levels needs to shrink and FO!

  • WOTW Tripod

    Your little houses threaten public safety zzzt zzzt zzzt

    • Northwest_Raised

      Think of the children!!

  • d

    And this is happening in the “home of the brave and land of the FREE”….what rubbish…..

  • Gnat60

    We really need to shed our governments. It’s gone way too far.

  • amongoose

    Now if these smaller homes are what the we need to reduce our footprint, why are the environmentalists, and agenda 21ers (Govt.) against these homes?
    .
    Other than they are off grid and not dependent on them.

  • Grace by Faith on yt

    The question we all really should be asking is, why on earth are we asking permission (via permits, licenses, registrations) from any government or municipal agency to do things that are perfectly lawful like driving, building on our property, getting married, having sons and daughters, earning wages for labor, growing food, raising livestock, attending school, trading goods for services & services for goods, and even being buried when we die? We bring on their relentless tyranny ourselves simply by allowing them to trick us into their corporate jurisdiction and then keep us there with endless corporate fraud so they can use (usury) us to uphold debts they create, and frankly, much like the neutered dog, I just don’t get it.

    • Louis Charles

      because people in modern amerika who claim to love liberty would rather whine than fight. One sheriff with the deputiz’m plan brings this crap to a complete halt. A WELL REGULATED MILITIA… being necessary for the security of a free state. Where is this militia the Founders were talking about?

      • Jas

        Depends, there are 2 militias. The 2nd amendment one (every man, woman and child) and the described one that the government literally controls and has a command structure with the government at the top, that is expressed through the National Guard.

    • adam kleist

      because they threaten to fine and cage us if they don’t, if not outright kill us. they got us by the balls as George Carlin once said. there’s no reasoning with a psychopath

  • Dave Wingrove

    I guess its better to be a renter in a slum where the crime rate is higher, so big business right down to the local thug can rip off the residents.

  • Steve3

    full control everywhere- dont allow people to become free and out of the matrix.

  • Deese Kuhz

    These used to be called “shacks”, and the neighborhoods they were in were called “shanty towns”. I think it was a mistake for cities to get rid of those neighborhoods.
    Many people have spent a considerable amount of their hard-earned money, and little-enough free time to maintain a nice yard in a nice neighborhood, so I find it difficult to fault them for not wanting their neighborhood turned into a shanty-town. Having said that, it makes sense for the civic-minded groups to find a place where people who want to live in shacks can do so.

    These first houses are nicely-appointed inside, but once it is legalized, they will be over-run by people who need cheap, dry places to live. If you’ve ever lived in the rural America that poor people live in, you will recognize what I’m talking about.

  • UnderTheBedMonster

    If big industry can’t profit….they will make it illegal….simple as that…..

  • “… the imposition of minimum square footage requirements and mandatory connections to city utilities is mindless authoritarianism.”

    This, exactly this.

  • 8kidsonwelfareyoupaymybills

    cant let them be allowed- the good people be stuck in them is not going to work section 8 makes for a lot better life- that is trumps idea to put the good people in tiny boxes instead of a nice crib in the burbs where we belong

  • Northwest_Raised

    If there is one group who needs their clocks cleaned, it is the Ban Gang.

  • Gillettestevens

    Between the ever-growing burden of regulation, including a layer of unelected officials pushing “sustainability”, it is hard for people to forge their own path. The intrusion into the living choices of human beings by government is based on control, or rather, fear of losing control. There is no logical justification for banning tiny homes. They will always be regulation, but it should make sense and not place an undue burden on citizens.

  • oldvlc

    So much for “Tiny House Nation.”

  • jmac54

    To me the American spirit is innovation and the ability to live and do as you please. If I choose to buy some land and pay taxes on it, then I have the right to build any kind of house I want. If I choose not to be on the grid, that is my business. I’m finding more and more that as people find ways to save money and live economically there is a trend to force them to do just the opposite. As I’m in my early 60’s my wife and I don’t need a big house. Our children are grown. We believe in energy independence. And I’m pretty handy with making stuff. We don’t need all the latest gadgets to enjoy our lives. So isn’t it up to my wife and I to spend the money we made on a house and life style that we choose?

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