Hundreds visit NE Portland for tiny home tour

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The newest big thing in Portland is all about living small. Tiny houses have been popping up all around town and are growing in popularity.

Hundreds of people came to NE Portland around NE 10th Avenue and NE Skidmore Street for a tour of tiny homes in the area.

“We’ve discovered there’s a massive tiny house movement, and it transcends so many demographics that people are coming from all over the country to really get a chance to see what a tiny house actually feels like,” said Deb Delman, the site manager for Caravan Tiny House Hotel.

The tiny homes that were part of the tour are between 200 and 800 square feet. The homes can be built on wheels or on a foundation in which case they’re called Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, that can go in an existing backyard.

“One of the big benefits is that it’s really flexible, so it’s something that someone who’s starting out being a homeowner can build to help supplement their mortgage. They could move into it and lease out their primary residence. They could have a mother-in-law or an elderly parent live in them. You can use it to rent out for supplemental income,” said Shawn Wood with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Costs of building ADUs can vary from as little as $14,000 to $50,000 and above. However, in a push toward sustainability, the City of Portland is waiving system development charges for the tiny houses until summer 2016, potentially saving more than $11,000.

“Well, I’m interested in small houses and an alternative lifestyle, and I think it’s a perfect solution to urban living,” said Bob Hermanson, who participated in Sunday’s tiny house tour.

City officials said there were about 30 tiny homes built in Portland several years ago, but now that number is upwards of 300 a year and growing.

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