This House has gone through an epic journey to get to this space on a quiet West Oakland Street. It will very soon move from this location. But it is a representation of what could be in a potential reality.
What if this patch of concrete was permitted to be a space for a tiny home parklet, much like the re-imagined spaces in front of restaurants that are helping Oakland lead the world in slower, more human streets.
Specific sites, where parking and right of way are not impeded, and immediate homeowners and renters have had a chance to weigh in on its location, could be thoughtfully determined.
What if a privacy fence and garden boxes were erected, so that it could remain visually pleasing to passing neighbors, with discreet space for trash to be stored as it waits for a pickup like a regular home.
Using onboard tanks for freshwater, black and grey water, and battery banks for energy, a service could be provided to this home regularly. Trash pickup, pumping in freshwater, pumping out black water, swapping energized batteries, and tending to garden beds fed by greywater, could be complemented with health checkups for the resident.
The code for the lock of this unit could be given to someone who is in need of an emergency shelter who has gone through an application process and is connected to support staff. Or perhaps a council of immediate neighbors could propose, screen and award the unit to an individual connected to the community.
The home could be paid for with rent or a subsidy. That money could go towards the costs of servicing the home, some towards taxes to the city, and some could go to a local fund for the immediate neighbors to collectively direct toward neighborhood improvements. The Tiny Home could become an asset, managed by the immediate neighbors.
The number one line item for the cost of housing is the cost of land.
Making use of the commons, 300 square feet at a time could be a win-win for everyone.
What if every tiny patch of land that served no purpose and had zero easement conflicts had an organized and managed Tiny Home parklet on it?
How much suffering could be diminished? How much revenue could be raised? How much better would you feel about the city you live in?