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Tiny Houses Find A Home In Fresno

Fresno is now one of the first cities in the nation to allow residents to install so-called tiny houses on their property.

Tiny houses are a growing trend nationwide of extremely compact homes, usually just a couple hundred square feet, often built on mobile trailer beds.

However, most cities prohibit them unless they are built on a permanent foundation.

Under the city’s new development code, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says residents are now permitted to roll a tiny home onto their residential property.

“We didn’t want to ignore the fact that this is now a viable living arraignment for people that want to choose it. And just wait for problems to pop up. We need to think through in advance how we want to regulate these structures and basically we treat it as a secondary cottage unit,” Swearengin said.

A tiny home could be rented, but homeowners are limited to one per residential plot. The idea was proposed by Council member Esmeralda Soria who considers it a viable addition to supplement Fresno’s perceived lack of affordable housing.

“There are even young college students. You graduate and you have loans you have to pay off. And so sometimes it is very hard to not only pay rent but also your loans. So this is able to reduce your costs,” Soria said.

Fresno has a company dedicated to building tiny houses called California Tiny House. They are shipping their houses all over the state.

Looking at the house, Reedly resident Mike Gregory says he could see moving his four member family into the tiny space.

“Mainly, it’s just our younger daughter that is a hold out on getting one. So we are very interested in getting one,” Gregory said.

The ordinance allowing tiny houses went into effect on Janurary 3rd.

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio.