Looking to Downsize?

The Oregon Legislature is considering two bills intended to make it easier to build tiny houses legally.  Advocates across the state see tiny houses– or as they are officially known: accessory dwelling units—as one way to address homelessness and occupancy rates that are so high some cities, like Portland, have declared “housing emergencies”.

photo source: www.bohemiancottages.com

The tiny house movement has become extremely popular with those who want to reduce their environmental footprint, embrace a simplified lifestyle, or are looking for ways to save money when it comes to housing.  Problems arise from the fact that many tiny houses aren’t built to current health and safety standards, according to Mark Long, Oregon Building Codes Division administrator.

An article in the Statesman Journal published on Friday February 24 explains that House Bill 2737 would establish special construction codes for homes that are 250 square feet or less.  House Bill 2165 would require tiny homes that are not permanently sited or intended for use as a residence to fall under the standards for recreational vehicles.  Both bills face serious opposition, however.

The article quotes Eric Schmidt, Gresham’s community development director and president of the board of the Oregon Building Officials Association as saying, ”Allowing tiny homes to be built  to a lesser standard and occupied on a permanent basis could be interpreted that it’s acceptable for anyone who occupies them to have a lesser minimum standard for life safety than those that have a traditional home.”

Read the article here:


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