Reno May Soon Build Tiny Home Village for Homeless

Oct 18, 2017

Reno City Council listens to a presentation from residents.
Credit Paul Boger

Faith-based organizations and charity groups are looking to city leaders in Reno for help in creating a tiny house village to shelter some of the chronically homeless in the Truckee Meadows.

Based on a similar village in Seattle, Washington, the plan would include 40 fairly austere tiny-homes. The buildings would provide few luxuries beyond four-walls, a roof and a door that locks. The village would surround a central building that includes bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

Sharon Chamberlain with Northern Nevada HOPES -- a community health center -- says the project could be underway in only a few months.

“I think that we need to move on it very quickly," says Chamberlain. "We would phase 40 houses and these houses can be built and up and filled in 90 days. We’d probably 10 house then another 10 and then another until we got there.”

City Councilwoman and Vice Mayor, Neoma Jardon, has been an advocate for the village since visiting the Seattle project last year. She says there are certain hurdles the city would have to address before construction could begin.

“Concerns at this point are, you know, ordinances, zoning, how do we find a way to get where we want to go in regards to this. My answer to that is if everything doesn’t fit in a perfect box, then build a new box.

In all, organizers believe they could construct the village for roughly $270,000. So far the city has not invested any financial resources into the project. But the group is hoping the city will adjust the building codes as well as donate a plot of land to build.