In the last few years, I have regularly seen blogs about tiny houses and wondered why there are not more of them around. The tiny house movement seems to be spreading and charming people with its eco-friendly designs and financial perks. Most of you I'm sure have heard about them, but also haven't seen them placed anywhere. As I did more research, I realized it was because it was a challenge to place them.
In Portland, the trend seems to be to place them in the backyards of existing residential neighborhoods as an accessory dwelling unit. I wondered why there weren't larger communities of these tiny homes as well as more of them, particularly here in Bend where affordable housing is so badly needed.
As I researched the subject, I found out that because most of them are on wheels or a trailer base, they can be classified as RV's or mobile homes. So you would think they could then just park in an RV or mobile home park, but that is easier said than done. Apparently, many RV and mobile home parks require that homes be built by certified or approved manufacturers and the tiny house manufacturers are not on their list because they were never listed or registered as such. To further complicate matters, many tiny houses are built by individual owner-occupants. This raises safety concerns as they do not have to be built to any codes, which complicates the residential classification.
Hopefully, in the near future, cities like Bend will address tiny house placement in terms of zoning and defining standards. Realistically, it seems like it could be of great help in alleviating some of our housing shortage and maybe they would not be on wheels if they weren't in the current gray area for zoning.
Cities are researching how to address these structures so they can be legally placed and maybe we will see more of them in the near future, but first it looks like there will need to be changes in the building standards for these structure as well as development code changes. Portland seems to be leading the way for Oregon and Bend has had discussions as well, but it does not seem like something that will happen very soon.
Nick Nayne is a principal broker at The Broker Network, LLC.
Home Price Round-up
60872 Defiance St.
Bend, OR 97702
3 beds, 1.5 baths, 1228 square feet,
0.37 acre lot | Built in 1979
Listed by Fred Real Estate Group
61329 Stardrift Dr.
Bend, OR 97702
4 beds, 3 baths, 2246 square feet,
0.29 acre lot | Built in 2000
Listed by Bend Premier Real Estate
2705 NW Nightfall Circle
Bend, OR 97701
4 beds, 4.5 baths, 5055 square feet,
0.68 acre lot | Built in 2002
Listed by Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate