New Legislation Could Bring Tiny Houses To Atlanta

In this Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 photo, one of the 50 homes planned for The Cottages Of Hickory Crossing, is shown through the window of a nearby cottage in Dallas. A collection of tiny homes in Dallas is a sign that Texas is embracing a national trend of giving the homeless permanent housing and augmenting it with plenty of support services. Dallas officials this month unveiled the first of what's expected to be 50 homes that will shelter the city's most chronically homeless. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Credit Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press
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Tiny houses are gaining popularity across the country in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and New York.

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In Atlanta, current zoning laws prohibit tiny houses. A new proposed piece of legislation could change that fact.

Tiny homes are usually 750 square feet or less. To some, they are the perfect solution for affordable and sustainable housing in urban areas.

But others fear tiny homes would bring down the property values of bigger homes next to them.

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall took up the tiny home cause two years ago. Based on the findings of a feasibility study, Hall has now introducing legislation that would change zoning laws to allow tiny houses in areas that already allow duplexes.

“What we’re trying to do is really provide for a range of housing options, specifically speaking to affordability, planning our communities even better around what people really want. People don’t really want to have gigantic homes,” Hall said.

“I’m not saying it’s a solution for everything, I would just like to see it be seen as an option— a normalized option in our regular housing choices,” said Will Johnston, the executive director of the nonprofit group Tiny House Atlanta, which pushes for tiny housing development in the city.

Right now, Atlanta’s 25 neighborhood planning units are giving feedback on Hall’s proposed legislation before it goes to the city zoning board.