Napoleon Complex is a Community for the Tiny House Movement

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The Tiny House Movement has always faced a number of problems, the biggest one being that there are not a lot of places where they are welcome. (See Why Hasn't The Tiny House Movement Become A Big Thing? A Look At 5 Big Barriers) There is also a real split between those who want to live inexpensively, off-grid and under the radar, and those who still want to be part of a larger community. I noted earlier:

The only way the tiny house movement is going to succeed is if people get together and build intentional communities of tiny houses, which will solve the land, loans and laws problem and eliminate the fear and social pressures ones. But that doesn't seem to be what members of the movement actually want.

Now Jay Shafer, one of the real founders of the movement with his Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, is addressing this issue in his typically humourous way, with his Napoleon Complex: Cohousing for the Antisocial.

In many ways, tiny houses work best in concert with other tiny houses and shared amenities. This is a dream long-shared by many including myself. The place will be zoned as an R.V. park, ... I’ve used the same design principles that go into each of my tiny house designs to create an environment that feels contained but not confining—vibrant but not at all crowded....

This will be structured as something like a co-op. Folks will own their own portable house and the small parcel it sits on, and they’ll pay a set amount per month to maintain the common facilities. There will be some rules established by the community to, presumably, keep anyone from turning their stereos up to eleven without earphones, conducting gang warfare on the streets and/or barking incessantly all night-and-day. I imagine one advantage to this particular arrangement might be that if someone feels the irresistible urge to bark all the time, they can simply leave and take their house with them.

There are so many things to love about this concept. Unlike most RV parks, he has kept the parking outside and separate. There are common facilities to provide a bit more space, some storage and communal facilities. Jay's term "cohousing for the antisocial" is a contradiction in terms, but actually makes some sense.

Jay notes that "This is a dream long-shared by many." Indeed, myself included. It looks like Jay might actually succeed in creating " a contagious model for responsible, affordable, desirable housing."

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Tags: Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces