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When Living Small Can Help a Largely Overlooked Population

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Living large, where you're really taking charge, can now be defined as living small. In an era where many home and DIY shows are focusing on maximizing homes with postage stamp floor plans, it's time to think about how everyone can benefit from this.

Aside from the affluent and practical people of our generation, there are those without means. The City of Chicago reports that 19% of sheltered homeless (those who have found temporary housing in churches, for example) are between 18 and 24 years old, and they're actually actively working through jobs or education. What might help?

Tiny Homes Chicago, a venture from AIA Chicago, Landon Bone Baker Architects, Windy City Times, Pride, is of the firm belief that the tiny homes can help this group of people who are trying to positively contribute, but who are also being negatively affected by the transience of moving from shelter to shelter. Small homes would afford folks the ability to study and seek safety.

That's why they're creating a competition to create a Tiny Homes community in Bronzeville to alleviate affordable housing. This neighborhood would be a pilot prototype for other interested communities.

If you think you can come up with a solid design for a home, then attend the upcoming meeting on Wednesday, December 2 for Interested parties. The final proposals will address planned 12-unit developments, where residents have a safe secure space to sleep, study, and store their possessions. In addition, there would be a 1,200 s.f. communal space, as well as secure bike storage.

The 350 s.f. units themselves will have bathrooms, storage, and sleeping space. With a $30,000 limit on material and mechanical systems, the units need to come to life for under $60,000 and follow city building codes.

Digital presentation boards are due January 30. The winners, announced March 2016, will get $5,000 to pocket, and additional $5,000 to develop the construction drawings. This competition coincides with the Tiny Homes Summit from April 18–19, 2016, at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The winning design will be constructed by an outside group as afull-size demonstration model and exhibited there, as well as getting featured in Chicago Architect magazine. Ready? Set. Enter!

· Tiny Homes Competition launches in Chicago [Windy City Media]
· Tiny Homes Competition