The Omaha area has long used cooperative strategies to work to address homelessness. Now the effort is moving forward with an innovative idea: tiny houses as a tool to help homeless people move back to independence.
The Cottages village will consist of 50 stand-alone dwellings, each about the size of a small hotel room. The village will be near the Siena Francis House campus, enabling the nonprofit’s support in regard to transportation, dining and counseling services. Residents will pay 30% of income to rent their small house. Each dwelling will include a kitchen, bedroom, living area and covered porch in a gated neighborhood. Houses will face each other in groupings to encourage social interaction.
The $6.5 million project will be the state’s first tiny house community paid for with low-income housing tax credits. Other public funding sources will also contribute.
Helping homeless men and women to transition to independence has tremendous importance for them and for our community as a whole. Residents restore their confidence and strengthen their future. Omaha reduces the need for emergency services.
The Cottages provides a great example of innovation to tackle a major community challenge.