Austin Real Estate News: Neighborhood of Tiny Dwellings Rents Micro Homes to Chronically Homeless

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Community First Village


(Photo: KUT)

The concept behind the Community First Village is revolutionary — rent a tiny home to someone who needs a reason to hold down a job for an affordable rate, and help the homeless turn their lives around.

The fact that it’s adorable doesn’t hurt, either.

Austin, home of the food truck trailer parks and high-priced housing, has made something that Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League calls, “the very first ‘yes, in my backyard’ project!’” according to this story from KUT:

Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Alan Graham, the man behind the project, says one reason many in the nearby community are on board is because there will also be a bed and breakfast in the village and an Alamo Drafthouse outdoor movie theater.

“We haven’t converted everybody, but when people come out here they go, ‘Oh!’ They see a chapel; they see medical and vocational services on site, and they learn that residents will not live there for free; they’ll pay a monthly rent.”

Graham adds that if 200 chronically homeless people get back on their feet, that could save Central Texas taxpayers about $10 million a year.

The village covers about 27 acres and features adorable micro homes like those on trendy blogs and websites, designed and built by University of Texas architecture students. Rent runs around $200 a month for some of the homes, which includes access to a community garden and social services. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is still in the middle of a fundraising campaign for the project, with a goal of $6 million. Find out more about the project here.

Considering the growing homeless population in Dallas, do you think there’s a space for this concept here? Where would you put a development like this? And if this was planned for your neighborhood, would you be a NIMBY or a YIMBY?


Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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