By Lubosh Hanuska, Organiser of Tiny Houses Albury Wodonga and President of SOAP House Design Inc.
The Tiny House movement is now a global phenomenon. However, small dwellings are nothing new. Without embarking on the journey across the globe listing all the small homes people live in let’s be honest with ourselves, personally. Before you continue reading try to pause for a minute or two and think of all the small places you have loved as a child. A backyard cubby, your secret treehouse in the woods, or the “castle” made of freshly washed bed sheets spread over a few chairs – these all form part of your own memories of attachment and affection to small places.
“Tiny Houses” as a movement started in the USA during the recent Global Financial Crisis when many people who lost their homes were looking for an alternative – a home they could afford, and perhaps even build themselves. History unfolded from there and now Tiny House enthusiasts are everywhere. Our local interest group is called Tiny Houses Albury Wodonga and meets monthly at The Sustainable Activity Centre to discuss topics such as design features, requirements for trailers, solar power and hot water systems.
Obviously, not all Tiny Houses are on wheels, and the group encourages those that primarily want to focus on downsizing without the need to move their house to join in the discussion. We have also formed an association called SOAP House Design. SOAP is an acronym for Sun, Open space, Access and Privacy – the four principles allowing to design a small dwelling which would satisfy these features without requiring a large block of land (http://www.soap.org,au). We have started discussion with local councils and non-profit organisations to offer design services on projects to support emergency housing and housing for the homeless. Unlike other homelessness programs a Tiny House build enables each owner to be closely involved in the design and building process which increases their sense of ownership. People who felt that they have no hope of ever owning a home suddenly become empowered to completely change their life..!
As you finished reading about Tiny Houses what picture is in your mind? Is it a Tiny House on wheels, or a treehouse in the woods? Or just a simple hideout in the backyard? Come and join our group to tell us all about it! See us on http://www.facebook.com/TinyHousesAW.