What are tiny home villages?

Tiny homes are exactly what they sound like; small homes for people to live in. They’re adorable and we all secretly wish we could have one, I know I do! Villages are like your usual suburban neighborhood, but on a smaller scale and with all community spaces within walking distance. They can range in size, shape, cost, and permanence depending on their purpose.  Some people live in tiny-homes because their lives require a smaller space or they love the tiny home culture! However, they have many purposes aside from aesthetics.  Tiny home villages have taken on a new meaning and purpose for reducing homelessness in America by providing temporary or permanent low-cost housing options. 

The Homeless Epidemic in America is prevalent today.

According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report in 2022: 582,462 people experienced homelessness. 

The National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that of the 582,462 people experiencing homelessness 22% were chronically homeless, 6% were Veterans, and 5% were unaccompanied youth under 25.  Looking at the total number of the homeless population about 50% of those suffering from homelessness are white. However, within that group only 11 per 10,000 people experience it. Compared to black communities it is 48 per 10,000 and Native/Pacific Islander it is 121 per 10,000; showing homelessness unproportionately affecting BIPOC individuals as the statistics per group are higher. 

There are 2 types of homelessness: sheltered and unsheltered. About 40% of people experiencing homelessness are unsheltered, meaning that their residence at night is not suitable for habitation, as it can be exposed to the harsh weather in addition to unsanitary and unsafe locations. A majority of the unsheltered population are individual people, as families and children get first priority for services.  However, about 11% of families and children still experience unsheltered homelessness. In addition, those who identify within the LGBTQ+ community have a disadvantage when it comes to receiving services and a sheltered residence. Specifically those who are transgender, non-binary, and others questioning their gender. About 63% of this community make up the unsheltered homeless population. The number of unsheltered individuals is higher in this group due to discrimination and culturally insensitive services offered to the general homeless population.  

Overall, the unsheltered homeless population has grown by 35% from 2015 to 2022.  Due to lack of services and resources available for them.  

Why have tiny home villages become a way to reduce homelessness?

Tiny Home villages have become a light at the end of the tunnel for those without a home.  Often when you’re homeless you are unable to obtain a job due to your lack of housing, but how can you afford housing without a steady income? While there are many shelters and temporary services available, they are limited. It’s a vicious cycle of remaining stagnant. Tiny Home Villages break this cycle. 

What the homeless population needs is a large-scale secure and sheltered residence, with a program to help them get back on their feet so they can transition into society again.  Tiny home villages & communities are a low- income, transitional type of resource available for individuals exiting homeless, previously incarcerated, or anyone looking for a program to assist their journey back into society. 

All villages offer temporary housing, some offer permanent housing for a reduced price. Many have programs and rules implemented to assist the community members in their transition. They often offer jobs within the villages or with businesses outside to provide residents with working experience. Within each village there are community centers for the residents, including a dining hall, hitchen, and hang out space. Much like a college dorm!  

Examples of successful neighborhoods 

Quixote Village is one of the oldest established Tiny home villages in Olympia, Washington. Quixote Village focuses on recovery housing, sober living, and supportive housing for the homeless. Their village includes a community building that offers a dining area, full bathrooms, kitchen, library, and TV room. Residents have access to a case manager who assists in their transition. Including goal setting, accessing health care services and other necessities like food stamps. Quixote is also unique because the residents created a code of conduct to follow and are involved in the interview process for new residents. 

Quixote Village image found on Quixote Village solar project website

The Village of Hope is an example of a tiny home village located in Bridgeton, New Jersey. This village not only provides housing for those who cannot afford it, but it also implements a re-entry program for those who were incarcerated.  By giving them temporary housing, programs to attend, and a stable environment they are able to prepare better for their reentry into the community.  This village also has a community room, picnic area, and a shared bathroom. The residents have assistance in obtaining state identification, employee services and placements, health & wellness services, assistance in their housing search as well as any social services needed. They are given 180 days of no-cost residence if they adhere to the program guidelines.  Following the 180 days they are transitioned into permanent housing which they pay for. 

Village of Hope found on NJ.com

Another example was created by a non-profit organization called Veterans Community Project, which was highlighted in the 4th season of Queer Eye. This non-profit is “dedicated to serving every man and woman who took the oath for our country, regardless of discharge status or type of service.” In this case, it’s ending homelessness for Veterans of the United States. They’re offered case managers to help with health care, employment, financial literacy, and long term housing. Their goal is to get veterans back on their feet, with a long term goal of expanding villages across America. 


Community First! Village in Austin, Texas is an example of a larger-scale Tiny Home Village, with almost 500 residents. This community is structured differently than others, as it has become a mini-city. With its own garden & market, cinema & amphitheater, medical center, dog park, and roads.  Every resident is able to obtain a job at the village and sustain themselves on the food from the 10 acres of organic gardens.  If they choose to work outside of the neighborhood, there is a bus stop in the village which transports them wherever they wish to work. 

Community First! Village Garden from Mobile Loaves & Fishes Website

Why should this be implemented more?

Tiny homes are not only beneficial socially, but environmentally as well.  If within this small community you have all of your necessities like work, medical care, and food production it limits the carbon footprint of each person significantly.  You won’t have to travel by car everyday, you can simply walk to your destination.  If you do have to leave the area, public transportation is a great way to travel!

These villages provide so much more than people might believe.  Our society has been focused on increased apartment complexes, where the rent is too high, the space is minimal, and no community to come along with it.  In addition to community being a necessary part of getting people on their feet, these villages offer programs to ease the transition back into society.  Tiny homes have been an increasing trend over the past decade, with substantial examples of successful villages.  These rising communities might be the future in reducing homelessness in America. 

If you would like to reach out to your legislature about implementing programs like this find the Chairperson of the Housing committee in your state! 

New Jersey Chair of Housing: Yvonne Lopez. Contact her on the NJ Legislature Website!

About the Author: Claudia Abrantes is the PR & Social Media Specialist at Lesniak Institute for American Leadership.  She is a recent graduate and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Kean University in 2023.