My husband and I share a 492-square-foot apartment in Cambridge, Mass. We inhabit a “micro apartment,” or what is sometimes called a tiny house. This label is usually proudly applied to dwellings under 500 square feet, according to Wikipedia. We are unwittingly on a very small bandwagon, part of a growing international movement. But deep inside the expensive custom closets and under the New Age Murphy beds, the pro-petite propaganda has hidden some unseemly truths about how the other half lives.
No one writes about the little white lies that help sell this new, very small American dream.
Here, on the inside, we have found small not so beautiful after all. Like the silent majority of other middling or poor urban dwellers in expensive cities, we are residents of tiny homes not by design, but because it is all our money can rent.
American greatness was long premised on the common assumption was that each generation would do better than previous one. That is being undermined for the emerging millennial generation.
Kudos to Jan Burton (and the Daily Camera) for the sanctimonious infomercial on increased density and tiny houses in “Changing world requires fresh look at housing options.” Councilwoman Burton’s message might be a bit easier to digest, however, if she didn’t own a tiny houses company that just so happens to provide the “creative solutions” to Boulder’s “housing crisis.”
One of the best local ideas I’ve seen in a long time is the proposal to found a new city on open space in rural Boulder County called Sustainaville.
This will be an entirely new town with all of the current government priorities already taken into account from the beginning. Complete social justice will be embedded in the town’s lifestyle and with an extremely compassionate citizenry, there will be no pushback against the leader’s agendas. The entire city will be sugar-free and most residential housing will consist of co-ops surrounded by tiny homes for those who want to age in place in gentle infill.
The town’s leaders will be comprised of former Boulder City Council members who will be housed in the Sirklejirc co-op. And, in order to ensure that Sirklejirc’s vision of equality is properly enacted for everyone, at least two city planners will be required for every resident.
I was shocked to read that Boulder is scouting sites to build tiny houses for our growing population of vagrants and transients. The first step should be to determine whether working and taxpaying citizens wish to build housing for those who choose to not work. Perhaps citizen/taxpayers would prefer to help hardworking but underpaid teachers, nurses, police and firefighters. We need a full debate, including a ballot proposition, before the tiny houses idea moves 1 inch further.