California’s Sonoma County may join a national trend of using tiny homes as low-cost homeless housing solutions. The county supervisors recently allocated $75,000 for county staff to study six sites in Santa Rosa that could potentially host a micro-home village. “We are in crisis mode when it comes to affordable housing,” Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane told Press Democrat. “We really can’t afford not to use every single tool in our toolbox, and here is another one.”

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According to January’s census, Sonoma County’s homeless population has reached just over 3,100 people, with over two-thirds of whom sleeping outside. County staff members hope that government-supported tiny homes may help cut down those numbers. Not only do tiny homes provide a much more affordable alternative to subsidized housing, but, if managed and funded properly, can also be effective in teaching residents self-sufficiency and how to end habits that lead to chronic homelessness.

Related: Occupy Madison Builds Tiny Homes for the Homeless Using Recycled and Repurposed Materials

Sonoma County has many inspiring precedents to use as case studies, such as Quixote Village in Olympia, Washington, which began as a self-governed homeless encampment and now comprises 30 tiny homes. If successful, Sonoma County’s tiny-home village could be replicated in other parts of the county. “It solves a problem with common sense,” Supervisor James Gore said to Press Democrat. “We see homelessness everywhere, and we see empty lots.”

Via Press Democrat

Images via Quixote Village