A dynamic new approach to homelessness with roots in settling the West: Conestoga Huts. The trend started in Eugene and the supporters are hoping it will spread through the Northwest.
“This is our hut,” said Tracy Joscelyn leading a tour of her hut. She said this temporary shelter is a godsend. “We have a beautiful bed. Most of them have a raised up bed.”
It is only 60 square feet of indoor living space. “It’s just really warm and awesome and amazing,” said Joscelyn. The main thing is it gets her off the streets and into a secure spot. “When you have a place to keep your possessions dry and safe instead of hauling them around, then you can start stabilizing your life and figuring out what the next step is.”
The huts look similar to a Conestoga Wagon, the precursor to the Prairie Schooner covered wagons that helped bring settlers west.
“I designed the Conestoga Hut,” said Erik de Buhr of the group Community Supported Shelters in Eugene. He is the driving force behind this effort, which is supported by donations.
He said Conestoga Huts are stronger and more permanent than tents and at $2,500, much less expensive than tiny homes which can cost from $10,000-$20,000.
It figures that more people will be sleeping in their cars, but did the city council think some would be making money on it? Expect even more scrutiny of AirBnB, the website:
Last month, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to stand by their repeal of an almost 36-year ordinance that prohibited residents from living in vehicles on streets within our city limits.
“And it’s now legal to crash-out anywhere [inside a vehicle] in San Diego, so it makes more sense for tourists on a budget to rent a 2-in-1,” Michael added, “and sleep by the beach.”
Last week, an Ocean Beach resident posted a collage of photos on Facebook titled: “VanBnb coming to a curb near you ….” One of the photos was of a black van that was available for $28 a night.
Michael’s buddies didn’t buy into the rent-a-van-and-sleep-inside suggestion for spring break.
“I still think it’s a great idea,” he said. “The people renting the vans or RVs on Airbnb and this so-called ‘VanBnb’ are [likely] vetted, so they shouldn’t be problematic. They should be forewarned that they might be targets of mad-doggin’ by anti-vandwellers that own property by the beaches.”
A new poll has found nearly half of California voters believe they can’t afford to live in the state.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday reports that 43 percent of California voters said they can’t afford to live there. That number was driven by younger voters: 61 percent of voters age 18 to 34 said they can’t afford to live in California.
“For many Californians, life is less than golden in the Golden State,” the release quotes Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.
“It’s certainly not a permanent solution to the crisis that we are facing,” City Councilman Mark Kersey told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But 100 percent of the time, I’d rather have someone sleeping in a car than on the sidewalk.”
If baby boomers have to sell their home because they need the money, this will be a great alternative – and could help to dry up the housing inventory, especially if you can build an ADU for less than $50,000. Homes with bigger yards would be more valuable too.
Today, Samara is announcing a new initiative called Backyard, “an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes,” according to a press statement, with the first wave of test units going public in 2019.
It means Airbnb is planning to distribute prototype buildings next year.
The name “Backyard” might imply that Airbnb just wants to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), those small cottages that sit behind large suburban houses and are often rented on Airbnb. Gebbia clarifies that is not the case. “The project was born in a studio near Airbnb headquarters,” he says in an interview over email. “We always felt as if we were in Airbnb’s backyard–physically and conceptually–and started referring to the project as such.”
Backyard is poised to be much larger than ADUs, in Gebbia’s telling. Yes, small prefabricated dwellings could be in the roadmap, but so are green building materials, standalone houses, and multi-unit complexes. Think of Backyard as both a producer and a marketplace for selling major aspects of the home, in any shape it might come in.
I love this idea – but $140,000 each? Hat tip Eddie89!
The region’s first housing project made from shipping containers could open as soon as April, providing homes for 21 formerly homeless veterans and possibly paving the way for hundreds of new affordable and median-priced homes in the near future.
The units are planned for a vacant lot at 2941 Imperial Ave. in Logan Heights. Each 320-square-foot unit would have its own patio, kitchen and bathroom. While the units will be built from metal shipping containers, they will be insulated and have interior drywalls.
I got an early start this morning and joined the nationwide annual event of counting our homeless population. About 50 volunteers met at the Encinitas headquarters of the Community Resource Center on Second Street downtown at 4:00am today.
We split up into teams, and figured we’d be working the beach area. Instead, everyone was assigned a census tract between Del Mar and Carlsbad in order to provide full coverage.
Our section was in Carmel Valley, and half of our designated area was filled with gated communities so we mostly poked around Pacific Highlands Ranch.
We did see one guy sleeping in his car near the on-going construction, and that was the closest we got to finding anyone who might be homeless. But I’m glad they include those living in cars because the lack of affordable housing is impacting those who have jobs – but can’t afford to live here.
The goal is to identify how big the problem is, and then work to solve it. If you’d like to participate, check the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless, who has the vision of ending homelessness in the San Diego region:
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