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Tiny Homes Could be Affordable Housing Solution, Palm Bay Mayor Says

As the tiny home movement moves forward across the state, the city of Palm Bay passed an ordinance allowing the construction of tiny homes.

Before that could happen some ordinances needed to change.


What You Need To Know

  • Tiny homes are becoming more popular among younger generations.
  • Not all cities allow them.
  • Palm Bay Mayor Capote says the can be an affordable housing solution.

Palm Bay Mayor William Capote says the city’s newly adopted regulations now allow tiny homes to be built in areas zoned for multi-family use.

“We can designate certain sections of Palm Bay to be able to have tiny homes. Palm Bay is at 35 percent capacity,” Mayor Capote explained.

According to Mayor Capote, tiny homes are not just a fad. They can be a solution to affordable housing issues.

“You have to have a diverse housing in your community. What is tiny homes going to do? It’s going to provide that person that can’t afford rent,” he said.

Carlos Vargas wants to break free from the norm and downsize into a tiny home right next to his house. That way he can rent out the home and live in the tiny home.

“We can spent less of our money on a house and more of our money on experiences,” Vargas said.

He doesn’t want to be tied down to the grind of spending a lot of time cleaning a regular size house. And, realistically, he says he and his wife don’t use their whole house.”

“For the most part, when you look at where we spend the most time, we are only using 50 percent of the space. And, when you look at the rooms, almost half of that space is not being used,” Vargas adds.

The white picket fence is no longer the dream most people have, many are switching from material things to experiences.

Palm Bay’s new ordinance changes have eliminated the minimum unit size for multi-family dwellings, and most recently submitted a request to allow tiny homes on wheels.

“Some people don’t want a mansion. Some people just want a place where they could go to sleep, and some people want to enjoy traveling,” Mayor Capote said.

Vargas, who’s in his 30s, agrees. He wants wants to use the money he saves from downsizing and renting out his larger home to travel.

“A trip we are planning is a road trip from Palm Bay to Lake Tahoe. It’s harder to do things like that when you have a $200,000 mortgage,” Vargas said.

City council will vote on the proposed text amendment for the tiny homes on wheels or (THOW) at its next meeting.

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