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Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:07 PM

 

Word spreads fast about Occupy Madison's tiny houses for the homeless



News about Occupy Madison’s "OM Build" Tiny Homes initiative is spreading like wildfire, generating excitement and attracting donors of time and money, says project organizer Bruce Wallbaum.

After news of homeless people beginning work on the first 98-square-foot house broke in early July, the initiative got its share of attention from local media. But a WMTV-15 story more than a month later — featuring video of the tiny house, nearly complete — sent coverage viral, Wallbaum recalls.

Soon media from around the country, including Al Jazeera America and, more recently, a Minneapolis news site, were doing stories on the project.

Several Occupy groups from around the country contacted Wallbaum asking about how Occupy Madison runs the program.

“Let us get the first house built and we’ll tell you,” he chuckles.

About 150 people showed up for a July 30 fundraiser where OM Build raised $17,600. And 15 people have attended each of two workshops to learn a few basic skills needed to construct the houses in the step-by-step system developed at the group’s east-side rented workshop, says Wallbaum.

More: http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/pat_schneider/word-spreads-fast-about-occupy-madison-s-tiny-houses-for/article_58d118a8-0ab2-11e3-a90d-001a4bcf887a.html

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Reply Word spreads fast about Occupy Madison's tiny houses for the homeless (Original post)
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 OP
EC Aug 2013 #1
PoliticAverse Aug 2013 #2
leftstreet Aug 2013 #3
Gormy Cuss Aug 2013 #4
MineralMan Aug 2013 #5
leftstreet Aug 2013 #6
MineralMan Aug 2013 #7
leftstreet Aug 2013 #8
MineralMan Aug 2013 #14
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #18
leftstreet Aug 2013 #19
MineralMan Aug 2013 #20
leftstreet Aug 2013 #21
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #29
Hekate Aug 2013 #41
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #42
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #13
MineralMan Aug 2013 #15
Aerows Aug 2013 #23
Bluenorthwest Aug 2013 #9
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #12
Fire Walk With Me Aug 2013 #17
MineralMan Aug 2013 #10
noiretextatique Aug 2013 #22
libdem4life Aug 2013 #11
Fire Walk With Me Aug 2013 #16
TBF Aug 2013 #24
Fire Walk With Me Aug 2013 #25
leftstreet Aug 2013 #26
TBF Aug 2013 #27
Fire Walk With Me Aug 2013 #34
joshcryer Aug 2013 #40
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #28
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #30
leftstreet Aug 2013 #32
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #36
leftstreet Aug 2013 #45
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #35
Cronus Protagonist Aug 2013 #31
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #37
Cronus Protagonist Aug 2013 #39
East Coast Pirate Aug 2013 #43
Cronus Protagonist Aug 2013 #44
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #38
ohheckyeah Aug 2013 #33
Corruption Inc Aug 2013 #46

Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:11 PM

1. so where are they going to put

these little houses? Don't they need land?

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Response to EC (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

2. And in most areas wouldn't local zoning laws prohibit such a house ? n/t

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Response to EC (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

3. They move them around

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Response to EC (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:16 PM

4. Read tbe link

The first home, built by future occupants Chris Derrick and Betty Ybarra, will be placed on city streets when it is completed in about two weeks and moved every 48 hours as required by city ordinance. Project organizers hope that city zoning laws will be changed to allow the houses to be parked for longer periods on property owned by churches or other groups interested in assisting the initiative while OM Build works to raise money to buy land for a permanent village of the houses.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:20 PM

5. Good symbolism. I'm not sure Madison

or anyplace else will allow them to be placed anywhere, though. And there's the problem. Local zoning and building codes will cause cities and towns to demolish these tiny dwellings. Too bad, too. I'd love to see them placed in parks that already have public restroom facilities in place. Little clusters of places for the homeless to sleep safely in the public parks everyone is entitled to use.

Madison, in particular, though, is likely to haul these away almost instantly, probably destroying them in the process.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:22 PM

6. That's part of the whole point

They'll move them around to comply with city ordinances, and start pressuring for zoning changes for longer term placement

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:27 PM

7. OK. However, I'd rather see fundraising go toward building actual, code-qualifying

housing for the homeless. There are designs available for this. Studio-sized apartments with real amenities and private facilities for bathing and other such necessities.

Hell, I want cities to build those at taxpayer expense. Permanent solutions for the homeless problem, created by the society to benefit those in need.

I don't know how much it cost to build a single one of these one-room buildings, but I know how to build them. I'd much rather see complete small apartments, with plumbing, bathrooms, and cooking facilities, being built for the homeless. Let's do that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:30 PM

8. Who knows, that could come from this

Cities aren't addressing homelessness

Activists must force them to do it

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:47 PM

14. Indeed. But designing sub-standard housing units

with no plumbing and no bathrooms is a guarantee of failure. As I said, there are designs out there for small cluster of dwellings that have all of those things, but that are very economical to build. Raise more money and push such a little community to be placed on vacant property to replace dilapidated existing buildings.

Aim for something that not only could get approved but that offers housing with dignity, not an oversized doghouse, which is what that thing they built is. With the materials in hand, I could build that thing they spent so long building in a three day weekend, as could any competent carpenter.

In a couple of weeks, I could build a stand-alone studio cottage, complete with food prep equipment, a bathroom and built-in storage. I know that because I've done it. It was a demonstration model for a student housing community I designed with an architect. I built it in two weeks, all my myself, and we installed it temporarily to demonstrate livability for the units, which were designed to be built in clusters around a central plaza, taking advantage of shared plumbed walls and the like.

The unit got approved, but the project was never built. It's exactly what I'm talking about. It's all doable, affordable, and acceptable to the building authorities and building codes. The zoning is the only issue.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:02 PM

18. Who said they are substandard?

 

Professional builders are involved.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:19 PM

19. You sound like a passionate advocate

If you haven't already, you should find homeless resources in your area

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:35 PM

20. I have been active since the 70s.

Why would you assume otherwise?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:38 PM

21. What have you found effective in eradicating homelessness?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:43 PM

29. Seems you woke up some crickets.

 

He ain't done nothin'.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:27 AM

41. Or just maybe he left his keyboard to do something in real life. Ya think?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #41)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 04:54 AM

42. Yeah, right.

 

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:46 PM

13. And yet they haven't done much for the homeless.

 

And nothing is in the works. Go downtown and ask any homeless person.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:51 PM

15. Yes, I know. And they won't allow those oversized doghouses,

either. Any project is going to have to be done in a way that meets building codes for habitations. They can be small, and they can be built. But it's going to take some professionals to design the things.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:57 PM

23. "I know how to build them"

I wholeheartedly encourage you to do it. The more solutions, the better. These and yours that fit within ordinances could be a tremendous boon.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:38 PM

9. We have a similar project in progress here, Opportunity Village Eugene

"Opportunity Village Eugene is a pilot project that will provide transitional micro-housing for 30-40 homeless individuals and couples at a time. Design and organization of the village will be based upon best practices derived from a comprehensive study of long standing “tent cities” in the United States, lessons learned from local encampments, and a creative understanding of permaculture principles.

The transitional micro-housing will be compact (60-100 square feet) and transportable (less than 8 feet wide). The idea is to combine a sense of ownership over a small, private space with an abundance of shared, common spaces that include cooking facilities, gathering areas, restrooms, and micro-business opportunities. The village will be built through a collaboration between village residents, community volunteers, and skilled builders."

Much more information and a map of the project site as well as current updates can be found here:
http://www.opportunityvillageeugene.org/p/plan.html

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:43 PM

12. Cool.

 

I did some work in Eugene when I lived on the West Coast. A great liberal city.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:58 PM

17. Solidarity from Los Angeles! If you need any more proof to assist your project, here

 

are some hard, positive numbers from a similarly-oriented program and the financial savings it provided the city (their most important consideration, though ours be human dignity and rights) :

It pays to grow Project 50

http://zev.lacounty.gov/blog/it-pays-to-grow-project-50

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:39 PM

10. Here are some images of projects that accomplish small

housing for the homeless, but housing that includes necessary amenities and doesn't look like a large doghouse:





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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:53 PM

22. tiny houses are also an option

and they all don't look like doghouses. i think it is a great idea.

http://www.designboom.com/contemporary/tiny_houses.html

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:41 PM

11. Liability ... the underlying cause and cost.

Either a structure is built/taxed with a vehicle license plate (trailer, RV, vehicle) or is built/taxed as real property (brick and mortar home or land/utility/space rental in RV park). When a trailer (vehicle/personal property) is affixed permanently or even semi-permanently to a cement foundation on a parcel of land, it changes category (real property), thus trailer or RV parks. To my knowledge, there isn't any third choice.

Also, relates to insurance...same situation.

Any property ... private or government ... these would be placed upon, would be legally liable for the structure, physical safety and actions of the residents.

Wish them the best, however.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 04:54 PM

16. Another world is possible! :)

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:58 PM

24. The little houses are ok -

but you know what I'd like to see? People put in all the many decent-sized houses that the banks are foreclosing on all over the country. That is what I would like to see. Rather than slum lords buying them all and re-renting them out at outrageous prices ...

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Response to TBF (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:04 PM

25. Absolutely. I know you know there are far more vacant homes than homeless people

 

but wall street are gobbling them up via the Blackstone Group. The mini houses may be a freeing lateral move, an obsoleting of the for-profit engine, if taken far enough. Both angles are perfectly legitimate!

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Response to TBF (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:07 PM

26. +1

There's supposedly 5x the amount of vacant homes than homeless people in the US

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:11 PM

27. Yup, and wall street will find a way to make it profitable for themselves

with more of us pushed into poverty

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Response to TBF (Reply #27)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:19 AM

34. "It’s Not a Housing Boom. It’s a Land Grab"

 

http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/05/the_dangerous_new_housing_boom.html

Many in the political and financial class are holding up this relatively positive new housing data as proof that the country has reached an economic oasis. And at first blush, the situation can be construed to be positive. The value of the U.S. housing market has climbed back to $16 trillion, exactly where it was before the economic crisis. Home prices and permits for new construction are up by double digits nationwide.

But rather than an oasis, these new gains might be an economic mirage. The reality of the current real estate renaissance is that the rich and those on Wall Street are raking in the cash while large segments of the population—especially historically marginalized communities—remain stuck in a downward, alternate housing reality.

Generally, housing recoveries are fueled by millions of Americans with new jobs, higher wages, available credit from banks and overall confidence that things will get better. But the real economy that most people live in day-to-day is too weak for all of that. Jobs are in short supply, wages are at historic lows and credit for middle and working class Americans is tight. With their economic ladder into homeownership taken away, many Americans can no longer participate in the housing market.

snip

Just in the last 12 months, Wall Street’s Blackstone Group has raised $8 billlion to buy up homes on Main Street. Following suit, according to The New Republic, JP Morgan Chase—the nation’s largest bank—has organized a fund to purchase 5,000 single-family homes in states with some of the most depressed real estate prices. As I wrote last year, a former Morgan Stanley housing strategist left that bank, organized a billion dollars, and is purchasing up to 10,000 homes with these new resources.

(More at the link. Via Occupy Fights Foreclosures.)

(One of the three leaked Citigroup Plutonomy memos, "The Plutonomy Symposium: Rising Tides Lifting Yachts", stated that the main asset of the bottom 80% of income earners in America is their home.)

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Response to TBF (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:19 AM

40. +1, the sickest part is the profit from interest.

Basically a bank gives you a loan for a house, it's an adjusted rate mortgage, you pay interest on that mortgage. The loan's interest rate skyrockets, boom, explodes. Now you're sitting on a mortgage payment whose interest is 2x what you were paying before. Now you can't afford the payment. It goes into foreclosure. You get evicted. Now the bank has all that interest you paid them (because you signed a contract saying you would) and your house. They resell it at market rates (far below the value that you originally contracted for, and its base cost already likely covered). You're on the streets or living out of a hotel or with other family members.

0.01% interest loans. Subsidies for those who are unemployeed. Cost of manufacture. All within the constitution (the constitution requires fair compensation, at cost would be fair). Nationalize the banks or take over the mortgages. It'd be a few billion bucks but millions of families would be off the streets or in their own homes. And with a near zero interest loan, you will be able to keep a huge chunk of your paycheck. That would flow back into the economy at large and it'd be a huge boost to the economy.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:29 PM

28. A little nicer,....but...

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 06:46 PM

30. What is that?

 

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #30)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:57 PM

32. A Hooverville

The tent cities of the Depression

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #32)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:00 AM

36. They weren't all tents. Most were tiny houses. Some even had style.

You have to remember, there were a lot of out of work construction labor.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #36)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:25 PM

45. LOL I should have used quotes

I meant the original 'tent cities'

No of course they weren't actual tents

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #30)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:48 AM

35. Hooverville....

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 11:52 PM

31. I always wanted to live in a shed

And live truly free of the burden of rent. A 21st century cave... I mean shedman. I would weep in ecstasy. In my dreams. In my dreams.

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Response to Cronus Protagonist (Reply #31)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:02 AM

37. Back during the Depression, they would sit and listen to the newly invented radio.

These days you have the escapism of a computer.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #37)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 01:14 AM

39. True, and I would need a solar panel phone charger too

A little hut exactly the size of a bed would be perfect. A big enough bed for two spooning in case I want company over. That's about it.

I could shit in the woods as nature intended, pee on a tree and drink water free at McDonalds in town.

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Response to Cronus Protagonist (Reply #39)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 05:01 AM

43. Why don't those bums just get a job, right?

 

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #43)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:24 PM

44. Me first!

If I could get a job, then I could afford to buy one of them!

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Response to Cronus Protagonist (Reply #31)


Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 12:15 AM

33. Those make

me claustrophobic just looking at them but they are certainly better than being on the streets.

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2013, 03:07 PM

46. There's already 24 empty houses for every homeless American, but still a good idea

as those empty homes are stuck in a corrupt banking industry.

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