In the US, over 5,000,000 homes have been foreclosed since the bank bailout. With the housing crisis at the crux of the economic breakdown, just think how different things would look if even half those five million people had chosen to build a tiny house, ten years ago. On December 13th Tumbleweed Founder and Small House Advocate Jay Shafer will take a tiny house to Occupy Wall Street to “suggest a true alternative”.
To give a real example of that alternative, in a 2011 interview on Radio National’s Future Tense, Australian Tiny House advocate David Bell explained how after buying his block of land he didn’t have money left over to build a traditional house. But instead of taking out a mortgage to do so, he built a tiny house. His house is 10 square metres, in an L shape, and cost him around AU$10,000 to build all up, which he paid as he built.
Jay Shafer is a is a designer specializing in sustainable architecture and urban planning, and a US expert in ‘small living’ . Author of The Small House Book, he lived in his own very tiny house (a similar size to Bell’s) for many years, and now shares a larger tiny house (of around 500 sq feet) with his wife.
In a media release about his visit to Occupy Wall Street, Shafer said “The bottom line is that bank lending policies created a housing market fixated on larger and larger homes while ignoring the long term impact to our economy and environment. Unfortunately, we don’t see any indications that change is coming.
“Our message is too important to ignore – which is why we continually embrace the opportunity to spread the word wherever we can.”