Tiny homes a solution for housing issue?

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2016

By Elijah Coombs

Oxford Stories

With the Tiny House Movement trend sweeping the nation, some believe building a tiny home community in Oxford could be one solution to help solve affordable housing issues.

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Preston Sellers, a UM junior, said it would be nice to have a tiny housing bill.

“Places like The Retreat at Oxford or The Hub usually fill up fast, so I know a lot of other students who end up having to pay more for a place to live for the semester,” he said. “I pay out-of-state tuition too, so having another larger bill can get stressful.”

Oxford is not the only college town facing affordable housing issues. Students all over the country must deal with the growing costs of college tuition. Many must tack on thousands more dollars in rent, increasing high stress levels and student loan debt.

“It’s scary, you know, to one day see the final amount of money you owe at the end of our college career,” said Merrit Belk, a UM junior. “It’s just expected though. College costs a lot, and living in a college town costs a lot too. I guess that’s the way it goes now.”

That’s where tiny homes come in. They can be transported on a trailer. Ranging from 150- to 375-square-feet, they will accommodate all modern living appliances, and possibly at no cost.

Here’s how.

Tumbleweed is a tiny house company offering different styles and sizes of homes.

The average cost of owning a tiny home is $200-$400 per month. These payments would take the place of rent over four years of college, and at the end of four years, you may be able to own your tiny home. This allows you to sell the home and possibly get most of your money back.

“If there is a location to park my tiny house, and still be near campus and friends, I would be more inclined to go the tiny route,” said Belk.

The new trend appeals to UM student Mason Standrod.

“I love the idea of owning the house after I’m done with college,” he said. “But in the end, I think it is worth the money spent to live with friends. I think I would miss that.”

Natalie Blikslager shared Mason’s view.

“I think they are a practical, affordable and progressive option,” she said. “However, I am willing to pay more for location, roommates and a more traditional college experience.”

UM student Alex Fratesi said being a tiny homeowner is a cool idea.

“I would be absolutely down to live in one,” Fratesi said, “especially if it was in a community atmosphere like other student housing places, and if I can have a roommate. Sign me up.”