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Tiny houses might be all the rage on real estate shows, but they’re more than just a trendy option for those looking to downsize. In fact, they could pose a lot of promise for many Maryland residents with special needs, as well as those who are homeless throughout the state.
The average American moves house approximately 12 times during their life, but for adults with conditions like autism, change like this can be extremely difficult. Yet, their caretakers need to plan for the future. In the state of Maryland, nearly 8,000 people are on the waitlist for housing options geared towards those with developmental or mental delays. While some strides have been made to help people get off the list and into a home, many families don’t want to wait any longer. One couple in Montgomery County decided to start Humble Houses, which are tiny, mobile homes designed specifically for adults with special needs and their caregivers. The houses aren’t exactly cheap, ranging from $64,000 to $104,000 on average, but they’re less expensive than a conventional home and will allow for more independence without sacrificing on safety.
The initial vision for Humble Homes was to create a community of adults who live close by, but due to Maryland’s complex zoning laws, the couple may be in for an uphill battle. However, as owner Peter Tittle points out, having a group of houses close together would make it easier for the county to provide its services in a concentrated area.
Tiny homes have also provided solutions to homelessness in many other parts of the country. These houses would be relatively inexpensive to build and could provide housing gaps in many cities. However, getting such a community built in Reno would be subject to a lot of the same problems that Maryland residents face. Still, considering that in Baltimore alone, Mayor Catherine Pugh has estimated fighting city homelessness and creating permanent housing will take $350 million, it’s possible that cost-effective, tiny homes could hold the key.
In the end, parents and caretakers are hopeful that Humble Homes could pave the way to making these solutions more feasible throughout the state. In circumstances like these, tiny homes are much more practical than hip and could offer many families a whole lot of relief.