by Karen Laslo
On this past Sunday morning, Charles Withuhn of the Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT), along with a retired contractor and nine Chico State students from the Tiny House Club, showed up behind the university’s Langdon Hall to get to work on the first tiny house in Chico. (Click on arrows to see slideshow below.)
Their goal for the day: To put up the framed walls they’d previously hammered together at another work session.
Withuhn said they were building the tiny house because of the many “unsheltered” people in our community. The goal is to house for the least amount of money as many people as possible and as soon as possible.
With Chico’s stock of affordable housing almost non-existent, Withuhn thinks a tiny house village – it will be known as “Simplicity Village” — is the way to go. Withuhn often cites other towns and cities, like Eugene, Ore., that have successfully housed unsheltered citizens in tiny house villages.
Chico’s first tiny house is being built on a flatbed trailer so that it can be hauled around town to places like the farmers market or to the Chico Mall so that people see an example of what a tiny house would look like.
Some of the wood for framing this first tiny house was donated by Payless Building Supply, and the windows were donated by CSUC alumni. Withuhn is in negotiations with property owners to acquire a plot of land for a tiny house village, and this sample tiny house now under construction will be the first to reside there, along with 33 more the Tiny House Club plans to build.
Support for the project is growing; Chico Country Day School has committed to building a house and some local business owners have committed to sponsor additional tiny houses. As Withuhn says, “The project is well underway.”
Karen Laslo is a freelance photographer and frequent contributor to ChicoSol.