Take a tour of the 312-square-foot home that can help homeless Utahns get on their feet and escape the cold and heat.
When Friday’s Salt Lake Parade of Homes begins, home watchers will not only have access to the area’s largest and most luxurious homes, but also to the smallest and humblest.
HomeAid Utah, a nonprofit housing provider, will be showcasing a tiny house in Sandy that will soon make its way into The Other Side Village, the tiny house neighborhood being developed on the west side of Salt Lake City.
Members of the Utah Capital City Council approved the project last year to help stem the growing homelessness crisis.
“We were making the bed,” said Don Adamson, general manager of HomeAid Utah, from the 3,12-square-foot home, “and it occurred to me, ‘Someone suffering right now in this heat on the streets of Salt Lake City, in time , will be able to man that unit.’”
When the time comes, they have a cool place to sleep, a bathroom and shower to wash up, and a lock on their front door to provide the security they lack on the streets. The idea is that residents can take the next steps towards self-reliance when they no longer have to worry about their survival.
When the pilot village opens on eight acres west of Redwood Road between Indiana Avenue and 500 South, it will include 60 units being built by contractors, schools and inmates at Gunnison’s Central Utah Correctional Facility. HomeAid has committed to building 10 to 15 houses in this first phase.
An additional 21 units will be used for the Community Inn, a revenue-generating nightly rental concept that will accompany the first phase and provide a work opportunity for residents.
Tim Stay, CEO of The Other Side Foundation, which oversees The Other Side Village and The Other Side Academy, said his group has been impressed with HomeAid’s work. The Tiny House took 31 days to build.
“We’re just in love with the finished product, the craftsmanship and the work,” Stay said, “and the speed at which they were able to put it together.”
HomeAid is working with the housing industry and will donate the house to the village. If bought by the average buyer, the house would cost more than $150,000.
Because the house on display is built on a steel chassis, it can be transported from its current location in Sandy – 230 W. Towne Ridge Parkway – to the Other Side Village. The remaining units, which HomeAid has contracted to build, will be built on traditional foundations within the village.
Adamson estimates his organization can complete construction of the remaining units in 60 days.
The environmental cleanup of the village site was more complicated than expected, but Stay said those hurdles have now been cleared and more work on site could begin soon. Before homes can be opened to residents, the project must obtain the necessary permits, build roads, and install utility lines.
“Year-end is probably a bit optimistic,” Stay said. “It’s probably more realistic to start building houses in the first half of next year.”
Salt Lake City Council members voted to lease the land to Other Side Academy for a dollar a year for the next four decades. Village officials must return to town to complete a separate contract to expand the project.
Officials estimate the village will ultimately house about 430 housing units. Residents must pay “heavily discounted” rents to stay in the drug- and alcohol-free village.
The project promises to offer the chronically homeless Utahns more than just housing, as residents have access to case managers and support services.
For more information on the Parade of Homes, visit saltlakeparade.com. The event runs until August 12th. The houses are open for tours Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m