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(Portland Press Herald)   Oregon considers a proposal to put tiny houses in people's backyards which they can rent to the homeless. Even the middle class can now get in on the booming business of becoming a slumlord   ( pressherald.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Portland, Oregon, intractable homeless problem, people's backyards, Multnomah County, government-constructed modular units, affordable rental shortage, new Idea Lab, alternative weekly paper  
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501 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Mar 2017 at 1:19 PM (30 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



38 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-03-20 12:52:09 PM  
This is not a new idea.  When Cumberland BC was still a coal-mining town, the properties had a main house, and a "shack" facing the alley.  The shack was rented out to miners or transients.  Nowadays that is where a garage or storage shed is usually located, but it is a practice that should be brought back for people that just need a place to bunk down and take a shiat/shave/shower.
 
2017-03-20 01:26:14 PM  
but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago
 
2017-03-20 01:29:01 PM  

Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago


$365k wouldn't get you a shed in Vancouver or Seattle.
 
2017-03-20 01:29:13 PM  

Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago


Government money. Not even once.
 
2017-03-20 01:35:00 PM  
I've been wanting to build a detached mother-in-law+shop on my property in Seattle. Based on current codes, even though we have a 1/4 lot in the city, it'd be against regulations to put the shop on the front side of the property (we have no ally way, and when they built the house in 1941, they put it at the very backside). So I have a couple options:

1. Do nothing and let my property remain 85% yard.

2. Attempt to go through the difficult and long variance process, likely involving a land use lawyer and getting all my neighbors to sign on to my 800 sq.ft. project.

3. Legally, with little city process, I could subdivide my property (up to 4 times!) and simply build a small home in the property that was my front yard. The downside of this is that it'd require separate water/sewer/power hookups and associated fees, even though I don't plan on renting out the MIL space.

I find the whole situation a very good example of land use regulations gone wrong. It'd be 10x's easier to tear down my house and build a pair of 4,000 sq.ft. duplexes, than it is to build a single 800 sq.ft. MIL apartment.
 
2017-03-20 01:49:31 PM  
"IF THIS DOG IS BARKING AT YOU, YOU'D COULD BE HOME BY NOW!"

mypalletideas.us
 
2017-03-20 01:55:54 PM  
I had some rental property about 30 years ago and based on my experience, I came up with a few rules:

Never rent to:
Painters
People with more cars than licensed drivers
Women with more than one tattoo (would need to be updated due to current trends)
Painters
 
2017-03-20 02:01:09 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-03-20 02:01:20 PM  
Oh good.  That way I can get the convenience of feces, used heroin needles, and the mentally ill right in my own backyard without having to travel downtown.

Outstanding!
 
2017-03-20 02:01:31 PM  

bighairyguy: I had some rental property about 30 years ago and based on my experience, I came up with a few rules:

Never rent to:
Painters
People with more cars than licensed drivers
Women with more than one tattoo (would need to be updated due to current trends)
Painters


What kind of painters? Fine Art or house painters? The second group is only slightly less of a dumpster fire than the first...so I would say your list would check out, except the tattoo one, now.
 
2017-03-20 02:04:46 PM  

bighairyguy: I had some rental property about 30 years ago and based on my experience, I came up with a few rules:

Never rent to:
Painters
People with more cars than licensed drivers
Women with more than one tattoo (would need to be updated due to current trends)
Painters


An old bankers saying is never lend to painters preachers or prostitutes so you are on to something
 
2017-03-20 02:26:03 PM  

bighairyguy: Never rent to:

People with more cars than licensed drivers



Just out of curiosity, why this one? Seems like people with multiple vehicles (assuming we're talking about fully functional vehicles, as opposed to a rusted-out Camaro, up on blocks in the yard) are demonstrating more disposable income. What am I missing?
 
2017-03-20 02:26:04 PM  

tamsnod27: bighairyguy: I had some rental property about 30 years ago and based on my experience, I came up with a few rules:

Never rent to:
Painters
People with more cars than licensed drivers
Women with more than one tattoo (would need to be updated due to current trends)
Painters

What kind of painters? Fine Art or house painters? The second group is only slightly less of a dumpster fire than the first...so I would say your list would check out, except the tattoo one, now.


House painters.  Always drunk, or worse.
 
2017-03-20 02:37:56 PM  
So what happens when you end up renting to a homeless drug dealer.  Can your tiny house and your big house be seized?
 
2017-03-20 02:58:06 PM  

Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago


I guess the "shed" needs isolation, plumbing and electricity (and heating if not electric), probably furnitures too.  80K still seems high though even with all that.
 
2017-03-20 03:07:45 PM  

real_headhoncho: This is not a new idea.  When Cumberland BC was still a coal-mining town, the properties had a main house, and a "shack" facing the alley.  The shack was rented out to miners or transients.  Nowadays that is where a garage or storage shed is usually located, but it is a practice that should be brought back for people that just need a place to bunk down and take a shiat/shave/shower.


Seemingly every new house under construction in Vancouver proper is being built with a laneway house, basically a self contained suite above the garage. Even older houses are tearing down garages to put them up.

Sin_City_Superhero: bighairyguy: Never rent to:

People with more cars than licensed drivers


Just out of curiosity, why this one? Seems like people with multiple vehicles (assuming we're talking about fully functional vehicles, as opposed to a rusted-out Camaro, up on blocks in the yard) are demonstrating more disposable income. What am I missing?


Agreed, though I'm the only driver in my household, we have an Explorer and a convertible Mustang.
 
2017-03-20 03:29:57 PM  
"Just because you don't have housing, it doesn't make you a bad person or more likely to be a bad tenant. In fact, you'd be a better tenant because you'd appreciate it," said Becca Love. "We've been trying to think of a way to help out in our community because we do have privilege ... but we didn't know what to do."

There goes someone headed for a major collision between her ideals and the real world.
 
2017-03-20 04:14:48 PM  

Sin_City_Superhero: bighairyguy: Never rent to:

People with more cars than licensed drivers


Just out of curiosity, why this one? Seems like people with multiple vehicles (assuming we're talking about fully functional vehicles, as opposed to a rusted-out Camaro, up on blocks in the yard) are demonstrating more disposable income. What am I missing?


You're right with the rusted-out Camaro situation.  "Oh, I'm working on that."  Except they aren't and it's make the place look like a junk yard.
 
2017-03-20 04:20:50 PM  
You could be a miniature Laird o' the Manor.
 
2017-03-20 04:25:03 PM  
My backyard is a swamp this time of year and no way in hell do I want Canada geese around!
 
2017-03-20 04:25:54 PM  
"Yes, I have serfs on my land. They barely cover their rents, of course, but it's more of a status symbol."
 
2017-03-20 04:27:22 PM  

MrSteve007: I've been wanting to build a detached mother-in-law+shop on my property in Seattle. Based on current codes, even though we have a 1/4 lot in the city, it'd be against regulations to put the shop on the front side of the property (we have no ally way, and when they built the house in 1941, they put it at the very backside). So I have a couple options:

1. Do nothing and let my property remain 85% yard.

2. Attempt to go through the difficult and long variance process, likely involving a land use lawyer and getting all my neighbors to sign on to my 800 sq.ft. project.

3. Legally, with little city process, I could subdivide my property (up to 4 times!) and simply build a small home in the property that was my front yard. The downside of this is that it'd require separate water/sewer/power hookups and associated fees, even though I don't plan on renting out the MIL space.

I find the whole situation a very good example of land use regulations gone wrong. It'd be 10x's easier to tear down my house and build a pair of 4,000 sq.ft. duplexes, than it is to build a single 800 sq.ft. MIL apartment.


Can you build a MIL treehouse and sidestep the regulations?
 
2017-03-20 04:46:51 PM  

Fabric_Man: "Yes, I have serfs on my land. They barely cover their rents, of course, but it's more of a status symbol."


This is what it will turn into within 200 years.

/ rich people could actually have titles again! ( it's what they've been missing since the American Revolution...)
 
2017-03-20 04:54:40 PM  
My POS town won't even allow a few backyard chickens.  One of the biotch trustees said ~ "if you want chickens  there is something called a farm."  What modern and sustainable thinking!   And of course any such " outspoken"person on any kind of board scares henpecked little girly men into going along with her.

Sin_City_Superhero: Just out of curiosity, why this one? Seems like people with multiple vehicles (assuming we're talking about fully functional vehicles, as opposed to a rusted-out Camaro, up on blocks in the yard) are demonstrating more disposable income. What am I missing?


You might think, and I get it, but I think just as often it swings the other way.  A person has two or three vehicles because they can't afford to buy and consistently maintain one decent one.  This can cause pain and be a point of contention between other household members and the neighbors.  People get sick of having to shuffle their cars around for driveway space real quick.  That said I don't advocate government regulation as the solution.
 
2017-03-20 04:57:38 PM  
houses of worship are tax free, right? maybe it's time they spread the love and put up cots for night use. those big buildings sit empty all night long.
 
2017-03-20 06:13:23 PM  

Craw Fu: MrSteve007: I've been wanting to build a detached mother-in-law+shop on my property in Seattle. Based on current codes, even though we have a 1/4 lot in the city, it'd be against regulations to put the shop on the front side of the property (we have no ally way, and when they built the house in 1941, they put it at the very backside). So I have a couple options:

1. Do nothing and let my property remain 85% yard.

2. Attempt to go through the difficult and long variance process, likely involving a land use lawyer and getting all my neighbors to sign on to my 800 sq.ft. project.

3. Legally, with little city process, I could subdivide my property (up to 4 times!) and simply build a small home in the property that was my front yard. The downside of this is that it'd require separate water/sewer/power hookups and associated fees, even though I don't plan on renting out the MIL space.

I find the whole situation a very good example of land use regulations gone wrong. It'd be 10x's easier to tear down my house and build a pair of 4,000 sq.ft. duplexes, than it is to build a single 800 sq.ft. MIL apartment.

Can you build a MIL treehouse and sidestep the regulations?

I've looked into this. I've stayed at the "Treehouse Masters" place, which is local, and would love for him to build a legit MIL treehouse that has a suspension bridge to our carport/deck. Unfortunately, our best trees are on the backside of the property and super/duper close to the property line with a ravine/city park - that has a known history of slides.

If's possible, but would take a substantial amount of work and geotech studies. The treed corner of the property is technically within the "40% Steep Slope, Heron Habitat, Known Slide Area, Potential Slide Area, Riparian Corridor, Wildlife Preservation Area" Environmentally Critical Areas designation by the city. I could try to fly under the radar, but being within inches of a city park and a steep slope, I don't think it'd last long without development permits and slide mitigation strategies.
 
2017-03-20 07:35:14 PM  
What would the rent on a tiny house be?

They did not say.
 
2017-03-20 08:03:04 PM  
"Just because you don't have housing, it doesn't make you a bad person or more likely to be a bad tenant. In fact, you'd be a better tenant because you'd appreciate it," said Becca Love. "We've been trying to think of a way to help out in our community because we do have privilege ... but we didn't know what to do."

Oh, honey...
 
2017-03-20 08:09:54 PM  

talkertopc: I guess the "shed" needs isolation, plumbing and electricity (and heating if not electric), probably furnitures too. 80K still seems high though even with all that.


It is. Even at $100/ft^2 for a modern home (we'll call it $140 due to economies of scale here), a 200 S.F. shed fully up to code would run about $28k. I've seen hunting lodges sell for sub $10k.
 
2017-03-20 08:52:45 PM  

brantgoose: What would the rent on a tiny house be?

They did not say.


Nothing, for now. But the property owner gets to keep the tiny house after five years.

http://www.wweek.com/news/city/2017/03/14/multnomah-county-hopes-to-b​u​ild-granny-flats-to-house-hundreds-of-homeless-families-in-portland-ba​ckyards/
 
2017-03-20 09:45:12 PM  
So, 40 years ago our adolescent dream was hiding out in the backyard shed all day smoking pot.  I wonder if some of my high school friends are running things in Portland?
 
2017-03-20 11:09:59 PM  
These homeowners will regret it.

Homeless people are scum.  They will trash the house and the yard and invite their homeless friends over who will trash everything and pretty soon the main house will get robbed.

Within a year someone will have ripped all the copper pipes out of the walls of the tiny house to sell them for scrap.  Within 2 years the tiny houses will be so damaged they'll be condemned.
 
2017-03-21 12:11:58 AM  

2chris2: Within a year someone will have ripped all the copper pipes out of the walls of the tiny house to sell them for scrap.


Use Pex instead.
 
2017-03-21 11:27:48 AM  

Imperialism: Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago

$365k wouldn't get you a shed in Vancouver or Seattle.


Because of the crazy land prices, but in this scenario the land is free so they are only talking about the cost for construction.  This is my main problem with "tiny houses"; the city is paying $91k for each of these tiny houses when you can buy a much nicer to live in single wide trailer for like $20k. Heck you can get a really nice yurt for like $10k. Tiny houses are an expensive status symbol for enviro-hipsters; they are not the most cost effective way to get a home.
 
2017-03-21 11:29:38 AM  
It begins with "incentivizing behavior" and escalates to "mandatory."
 
2017-03-21 07:40:14 PM  

stuff: Imperialism: Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago

$365k wouldn't get you a shed in Vancouver or Seattle.

Because of the crazy land prices, but in this scenario the land is free so they are only talking about the cost for construction.  This is my main problem with "tiny houses"; the city is paying $91k for each of these tiny houses when you can buy a much nicer to live in single wide trailer for like $20k. Heck you can get a really nice yurt for like $10k. Tiny houses are an expensive status symbol for enviro-hipsters; they are not the most cost effective way to get a home.


I remember watching a video article interviewing a bunch of tiny house folks. They talked at length about how they designed the open shelf that was their late teen/college aged son's "loft" over their kitchen/bedroom. You'd have to double over to sit at the kitchen table and the son had to double over to sit on his "bed". I hope they like hearing him jerkin' it 'cause no girl will ever be coming over.

The part that made me snort was when they discussed the exterior. They'd lined the outside with aluminum cans because manufactured-poverty chic was in that year. And the husband was gushing about how they'd used cans from their local pizza place.  Snert. Thanks, sir, Sysco and the environment thanks you.
 
2017-03-21 08:21:52 PM  

Imperialism: Saiga410: but they will buy the first four modular units with $365,000 in government money and a charitable donation.

80k to make shed?  I sold a 900 sq ft house on 1/8 acre for that just 5 years ago

$365k wouldn't get you a shed in Vancouver or Seattle.


Sure it would, if you bought it in Buttfark, Manitoba and hauled it there on a flatbed.  It would buy you a hundred sheds and the land is already bought, by the homeowner.

This is a great idea sure to be farked up by bureaucrats.
 
2017-03-21 10:37:34 PM  

stuff: Tiny houses are an expensive status symbol for enviro-hipsters; they are not the most cost effective way to get a home.


Sure they are.  At whatever level of luxury you're talking about, the smaller house will be the cheaper house.  If you build it yourself and use things like recycled lumber and fixtures, you can build a nice tiny house for a whole lot less than a much larger house of the same quality.
 
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