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Editorial: 'Tiny house' village is an innovative step to reduce Omaha-area homelessness

Editorial: 'Tiny house' village is an innovative step to reduce Omaha-area homelessness

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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.

Photos: Our best staff images of October 2020

Siena Francis Cottages 12 (copy)

An illustration of the planned Siena Francis Cottages.

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