With the rising costs of homes and rent in the United States, there has been an increased need for affordable housing options. According to CNBC (2018), prices for homes have increased over 5% in the past few years and are expected to rise twice the speed of inflation. In addition, there has been a rising interest in the minimalist movement made popular by Marie Kondo, who is well known for her method of cutting out anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” This movement has sought to reduce the carbon footprint, excess clutter, and to save money. One movement that address both of these public concerns is the tiny house movement. This new movement has encouraged people to downsize their lifestyle and live minimally, while also helping alleviate the economic burdens of high rent and mortgage costs. There are now established communities dedicated to those who want to live in tiny homes and live a more minimal lifestyle. These communities often have shared common goals and values that help these communities become more cohesive.
A community is described as a group of individuals with shared values, goals, and attitudes that bring them close together. According to Gruman, Schneider, and Coutts (2017), a strong sense of community must include membership, influence, integration, and a shared emotional connection. In many tiny home communities, the members often share resources and have a strong communal bond with one another because they live in such close proximity to one another. In one tiny home community, Tiny Tranquility, members of the community share a 12,000 square foot greenhouse that can be used to grow crops, an entertainment room to interact and bond with other community members, and outdoor areas to have bonfires and play games. Most tiny house communities have a common goal that aims to reduce their attachment to debt and material items to achieve optimal life satisfaction. According to Business Insider (2019), many tiny homeowners are able to live debt free and can even double or triple their savings to the six-figure range. Other common goals shared among many tiny home communities is the desire to reduce waste and live a greener lifestyle. Some communities utilize solar energy and home gardening not only for convenience but also to minimize the effects on the environment. According to Renewable Energy World (2015), tiny homes produce about 2,000 pounds of CO2 in comparison to the average home which produces 28,000 pounds annually. These shared values and strong communal ties allow tiny home community members to thrive and achieve their common goals, while also fostering new relationships with those with similar interests and hobbies.
Although strong communal bonds can exist in the standard neighborhood, tiny home communities allow those with similar interests to comingle and share resources while also influencing each other to have a more minimal and greener lifestyle. Tiny home communities can help alleviate the economic burden of rising housing prices while also providing affordable housing to those who previously didn’t have access like homeless veterans. These communities often aim to not only have economic freedom, but also allow members to live healthier and more fulfilling lifestyles. These tiny home communities foster strong communal bonds between its members while also allowing those with a common life purpose and goals to flourish and prosper.
CNBC. (2018, June 6). US house prices are going to rise at twice the speed of inflation and pay: Reuters poll. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/06/us-house-prices-are-going-to-rise-at-twice-the-speed-of-inflation-and-pay-reuters-poll.html.
Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (2017). Applied social psychology: understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Hoffower, H. (2019, July 27). 6 people on how living in a tiny house has changed their finances, from going debt-free to saving six figures. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/tiny-house-living-advice-financial-changes-to-expect-2019-7.
Renewable Energy World. (2015, November 14). Tiny Houses Have Even Tinier Carbon Footprints. Retrieved from https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/2015/12/14/tiny-houses-have-even-tinier-carbon-footprints/#gref.
Tiny Tranquility. (n.d.). Long term stay plots for Tiny Home and Vintage Trailer owners. Retrieved from https://tinytranquility.com/.