Thinking beyond the homeless encampment

Date
2023-04-21
Authors
DeNiro, Dominic Riley
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This thesis explores the Tiny House Village Model as a critical framework for developing intentional homeless communities, or IHCs, that better serve the housing, service, and social needs of those experiencing homelessness. This research examines different approaches to land ownership, land-use & zoning regulations, and financing tools that allow transitional congregate shelters and affordable tiny house villages to be more easily constructed on land within the urban area. Additionally, this research considers the various aspects of housing and community design that can be used in these projects to give planning and development professionals an idea of how to best create these communities to allow a positive transitional and permanent housing experience. Using lessons from seven case studies across Oregon, Washington, and Texas, this research offers a resource guide for planners and housing leaders in the Austin community to use when thinking about innovative and human-centered approaches to housing the city’s homeless population. This research focuses on the City of Austin and addresses how local government can best support these projects by enacting policies and regulations that provide legal grounding, support, and recognition of this type of housing infrastructure. Results include strategies for creating IHCs through existing and proposed land ownership, regulatory, and financing tools to give the City of Austin the best chance of creating alternative housing types for the unhoused population

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