Coming Home

 

Almost every day I see a new city initiative to bring tiny homes to those who need them – not for accumulation, or even for saving money to secure a place in that shrinking category we call the “middle” class but for those who are truly in need: for the precariously housed, and the unhoused, for students signing their life away in student loan contracts, for the elderly who want and need to be close to family, for the young who recognize the insanity of a life working to pay for a roof you barely sleep under, for all those who want to envision different ways of being in places… new, different, and exciting examples are happening everywhere.

For now, check out Time Magazine’s recent article on tiny houses for the homeless in Portland here.

More personally, in the beautiful Fall in Eugene , we held the first Sustainability and Housing Justice Forum. This event explored the intersections of HOUSING JUSTICE and SUSTAINABILITY and offered opportunities for community organizations, activists, and volunteers to connect. The event also featured a CONESTOGA HUT on site, open for the public, as a way to learn more about the simple and transformative solutions for the unhoused in our area. Activists, academics, students, scholars, and many community members came together to connect, idea share, and discuss how we (all different versions of that word) can do better. It was inspiring and encouraging. If the tiny house does nothing else, it helps us reimagine.

comparisons

The history of the tiny house on wheels is as old as the wheels underneath them; that is, they emerged almost simultaneously with automobiles. They are, as a friend so astutely noted, the American Dream collapsed into one mobile object. It should be no surprise that much of the (justified) critique takes up the fraught nature of the American Dream: issues of access, privilege, whiteness, property, consumerism, etc. It’s all there.

There have been many take-downs of the movement as of late that are ill-informed, hasty, and seem to be working more as click bait than journalism. However, there are smart and nuanced critiques as well.

In my opinion, one article in between those poles is here.

And today, a compelling critique from Jacobin here.

I’d LOVE it if y’all compare to my chapter written over two years ago and send me your thoughts!

Critique should make us more thoughtful, more responsive. Hip hip!

A