Not only are tiny homes great for people who just want less to maintain in their lives but it turns out, it's a great idea to help the homeless, at least the Otsego County Board of Representatives thinks so.

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The idea of putting some members of the homeless population in a tiny house temporarily, while a more permanent and sustainable situation could be set up for those people, came about when the county was at risk of losing funding from New York State to help house the homeless population. Too much money was being spent to address the problem so after researching new ways of addressing housing, the idea of a tiny house complex came about. This project would save the county thousands of dollars per year according to Erik Scrivener, Fair Housing Officer for Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste.

So far, six out of ten planned "tiny houses" have been built behind the Meadows Office Complex in the town of Middlefield.  These little homes will temporarily shelter homeless males, which is the largest population of homeless people.

The structures were designed by Mike Steiger, Smsa Architectural Services, Cassville, and have been built so far by SUNY Delhi construction students at the Delhi campus, then brought on-site to the Meadows. To reduce the project cost, the county is looking to work with BOCES students for construction on the rest of the homes needed.

In the tiny home complex, there are also plans for a community center for the residents. To reduce the community carbon footprint and considerably cut operation costs, once the community is up and running, the tiny homes and community center will be powered with geothermal and solar powers. The only cost will be in staffing to oversee the operations of the complex and those housed there. 

To learn more about this innovative approach being taken by Otsego County to house the homeless, listen in to our radio program, "This Week in Central New York", coming up this Saturday, July 24, which airs from 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

Here are some photos from the tiny housing project at the Meadows Complex...

Credit: Otsego County Planning
Credit: Otsego County Planning
Credit: Otsego County Planning
Credit: Otsego County Planning

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