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One Solution To Affordable Housing: Build Small

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Plans for a 545 sq .ft. small home in Bithlo. Photo: Matthew Peddie / WMFE
Bill Ford (l) and Tim McKinney (r) look at plans for the small house. Photo: Matthew Peddie / WMFE
Bill Ford. Photo: Matthew Peddie / WMFE

Finding affordable housing can be a big challenge, but the answer may be to build small and fast.

Tim McKinney of United Global Outreach and Bill Ford from New Dignity Homes talk about a project to bring small homes to Bithlo in Orange County.

McKinney and Ford say these homes can be put up in just a few days, and won’t break the bank.

“This is not a tiny home,” says McKinney of the 545 sq. ft. model.

“This is an actual home on a concrete foundation.”

McKinney wants to build 48 of the small homes in Bithlo.

“The concept is to provide a home that can be bolted, screwed together and get up in a very short period of time,” said Ford.

He says the foundation can be laid in a week, then the house could be put up in a couple of days. “So, within a week, we could have one of these homes ready for someone to live in.”

Ford said the home is modeled on a hunting cabin, with modern amenities.

“Tim challenged us with the ability to provide a home, but only if we were willing to live in it,” says Ford. He says the two story home will cost around $30,000.

McKinney and Ford say they’ll set up the first of these small homes in Bithlo as soon as they work out impact fee costs with Orange County.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »