Tiny homes, big dream - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tiny homes, big dream

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

Buyers across the country are choosing tiny homes over larger living spaces, but in the Inland Northwest, one man has plans to build entire villages of tiny homes as a model to fight homelessness.

“We can get people into affordable homes, not charge interest, and they can actually own instead of paying rent the rest of their life,” said Ian Robertson, who is spearheading the project. “We have got to do something about these families. Many of them lost jobs, lost their homes, and deserve another chance.”

The village would be designed to help homeless families. Robertson says there are more than 3,000 homeless children in Spokane County, and more than 2,000 in neighboring Kootenai County.

Robertson plans to build 20 of these 344 square-foot homes. They will cost $20,000 and people could lease them and pay them off in five to seven years. At that point they would become homeowners.

“We can give hope to people,” said Robertson. “This Is America, this is supposed to be the land of opportunity.”

Critics of the villages say they will turn into homeless camps, but Robertson says that’s not the case.

Robertson says to qualify for a home, a person would first have to demonstrate a need for it, and also have a way to make the monthly payments. They would sign contracts agreeing not to use drugs, drink alcohol, and not cause any violence.

The tiny homes would have a full kitchen, an entertainment center, a stove, an oven, master bedroom, and in some models, an upstairs bed for kids.

Robertson already has a model home parked at Living Hope Community Church between Broadway and Interstate 90 in Spokane Valley.

He still needs zoning approval and funding for the 20 homes, but Robertson says the majority of Spokane Valley and Spokane city council is on board with the idea.

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