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A weblog by Laura Moncur


Tiny House Communities DO Exist

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 11:01 am

I read this article this morning and it kind of peeved me off.

I’ve talked about tiny houses and the problems that I have with them before. You can read those articles here:

Today’s article decided that the lack of tiny house communities wasn’t the fault of city planners. It was greedy land developers. When given a choice between building tiny houses and selling them to hippies and renting them to the rich, they choose the vacation property choice every time.

Greed… That’s why there are no tiny home communities? Umm… no.

The fact is, tiny home communities DO exist. We call them mobile home parks.

Mobile Homes Are Tiny Houses

Mobile homes are tiny. They are portable. They are efficient designs that are very affordable. Why have the tiny house proponents overlooked them?

Because hippies don’t live in them, rednecks do.

Hippies are too good to park their homemade tiny homes in a mobile home park because that’s where the lower classes live. They don’t want to admit that their choice to simplify looks an awful lot like just being poor.

No tiny house communities? Not even in the mecca of tiny homes, Portland, Oregon? Not so! I counted TEN mobile home communities in the heart of Portland.

View Larger Map

Now, these might be mobile home communities that have certain restrictions on the size of the homes they allow in their park, so I checked the second mobile home on the list, Mobile Estates. I chose this one because a reviewer on Inside Pages called it, “a scumbag haven.” Of course, another reviewer said, “They have a lot of older mobile homes here. they have been here for a longtime. the park is clean. the people are nice. it is easy to find. stop by and see.” They sound like the kind of park that might be willing to have a tiny house on their property, so I looked at it up close and personal on Google Maps.

Mobile Estates: Your Tiny Home Is Probably Welcome There

If they are willing to let a fifth wheel stay there, I’m sure they’d be ecstatic to have a DIY tiny home that looks like a little cabin. Why haven’t the hippies in Portland just JUMPED on this opportunity? Because “scumbags” live there.

Stop whining about city planners, vacation rentals and McMansions. There are tiny home communities all around you and you don’t even see them because you consider them unwashed masses. We poor folks have been living tiny for a lot longer than you hippies. You might actually LEARN something from us if you didn’t consider us beneath your notice.



  1. I have a tiny house and tried to find an RV park or mobile home park to stay in but was turned down by most of them because the house wasn’t built by a licensed manufactured home builder.

    A regular mobile home is manufactured by a licensed manufactured home company and conforms to specific, practical standards regarding room and door width and height, materials used, etc. Normally, cheap materials are used and the homes are not expected to last more than 20 to 30 years, which is why so many mobile home parks have rules about the age of homes they accept, and why loans are shorter in term than a conventional house.

    Mobile home manufactures and mobile home park owners are profit-oriented. Mobile home parks generally make the sites as small as possible to maximize their profits. That being said, however, there are some mobile home parks that are organized as co-ops and are run by residents for residents.

    Tiny homes (IMHO) are built with quality materials, often natural and often recycled. They are frequently designed and built by their owners with an eye to aesthetics and are often intended to last as long as possible. Tiny house owners want to live on a space that is comfortably sized. Some want gardens that are larger than mobile home parks will support and pets or farm animals that mobile home parks don’t allow. Tiny house owners typically want to reduce their consumption and minimize their impact on the environment.

    Mobile homes and mobile home parks provide affordability and convenience.

    Tiny houses and tiny house communities provide quality of workmanship and materials, beauty of design, and an eco-friendly livestyle.

    It sounds like you’re angry at people who value beauty over practicality. Those folks may be rich in spirit but many are just as poor in monetary terms as the average mobile home park resident.

    Comment by Elaine — 1/10/2013 @ 6:43 am

  2. You might take note I also took exception to the No tiny house communities issue. Pointed out real tiny house communities and where more are being built. Took a very different view of the subject than you did having lived in a true “Tiny House” 136sq ft. with 56sq ft sleeping loft for several years. A Mobile home park is not a “Tiny House” community very few mobile homes meet the quality of construction,craftsmanship,quality of insulation,materials,etc. of the tiny houses of subject. Besides a single wide being 4 to 5 times larger than a tiny house mounted on a trailer that you can tow behind a 3/4 ton and not need a road permit. Can you do that with a Mobile home rolled into a mobile home park? Nothing wrong with mobile home parks or those that choose or need to live in them.However I have learned one thing from your ill informed diatribe and that is I would not desire to live in a mobile home park. Thanks

    Comment by Robert — 1/11/2013 @ 11:08 pm

  3. I think it’s interesting that you’re saying “hippies”, as far as I can tell, the small house movement is mostly yuppies who are fed up with the system. most of them seem to have left well paying, professional jobs for living the tiny life. I myself am all for the small house movement – I think it is the answer to many problems, as long as the costs remain low. but I am already starting to see a trend where tiny houses are going for $100,000 or more. Sad.

    Comment by Tiny Houses Hankerings — 2/1/2013 @ 10:30 pm

  4. When you leave your well paying job for living the tiny life, you are no longer a yuppie. You then become a hippie.

    Comment by Laura Moncur — 2/3/2013 @ 12:38 pm

  5. It has nothing to do with wanting to stay in a mobile home park with a certain clientele. It has to do with the financial end of it. Mobile home parks tend to have rates that are like paying rent. Some parks are 424.00 and upwards per month and I have found them to run as high as 900.00 per month because it is winter or because it is summer. They have their reasons why the rates change. They are paying off their land mortgage and we are helping them pay it. It is all about profit margins to them and not about downsizing while still having a good quality of life. It is about access to water, sewer and electric. It is about the upkeep of the amenities they offer clients. It is about the length of time they allow you to stay. They have tiny home owners up against the wall just as well as the city codes and zone officials elite have tiny home owners against the wall. So, they take advantage of tiny home owners because they are forced to by city codes and zone officials. As areas because densely populated along comes codes and zoning rules. another thing is if you find the ideal spot to put your tiny house, what kind of support system do you have? Sure it is nice to be independent, but what happens on those days that your car does not start, and how do you get help installing the necessities to run your tiny home? How far are you willing to commute to work. Are there jobs available in your area to work at? It would be great to buy land and create my own tiny community. Anyone out there that wants to participate if I find land in the middle of nowhere? Basically, our society has put itself against the wall. Big business keeps you wanting more and more, and now downsizing is evident to most, and trying to downsize is hindered by the money hungry.

    Comment by Blonell Lehocki — 9/28/2013 @ 1:01 pm

  6. Loved this article. Well written!

    Comment by Matt Hentrich — 11/22/2013 @ 9:47 pm

  7. What is wrong with wanting to be around like minded people? Literally every group or subculture of people enjoys being around each other.

    The demographic living in tiny homes is very different from the demographic living in trailer parks, I think it is okay to acknowledge this difference.

    I don’t want to live among NASCAR fans, and that is okay. They probably don’t want to live around me either.

    Comment by Jake — 1/19/2014 @ 6:09 pm

  8. Does everything in this country have to be politicized these days? Ugh. Have you ever thought that living in a tiny house, rather than a manufactured trailer could be based on something as simple as aesthetics and affordability, rather than immediately slapping a label on the people who choose to live this way? The last time I checked we were living in a free country that values the individual. This means that not everyone has to conform to an arbitrary standard largely designed by banks and the construction industry that dictates, in the form of design and square footage, how people will live. Remember, at the turn of the century, the average square foot house came in at around 700 square feet, and was mortgage free, as homeowners typically built their own homes. In fact, our small ancestral family cabin built by my great, great, grandfather from the early 1800’s still stands today, and has housed many generations of family who have lived mortgage free throughout the years, and worked hard, which enabled them to prosper – and I’d say, they prospered pretty well! So, under your logic, my family, who built their own small cabin, are to be considered “hippies”? Lol. I don’t think so, since they were straight up Baptists! I don’t see anything wrong or offensive with Americans using their brilliant gift for innovation to try to get up from under this ridiculous housing market by rolling up their sleeves and building their own homes, which however large or small, is no easy task! I say to any American these days who has the grit, independence, and the determination to build something of substance for themselves and their families, well God Bless You!

    Comment by Dwk — 3/16/2014 @ 9:20 am

  9. I live in Portland, Oregon. I do not want to be in an RV Park. A group if women Artists want to build a Tiny Arts Community . We want to have a working collective. Sharing the costs of utilities. Because if our urban growth boundaries, most properties are snapped up by developers. I think it would be nice to see Tiny House should start group pages that allow groups to develop community pods. And, areas where land can be leased, rented or bought to move a tiny house to community. From our end, working with state legislation to change zoning barricades.

    Comment by AkAllerdice — 3/29/2014 @ 2:34 am

  10. Regarding class issues; I grew up poor and got an education–so I have seen both sides. I have also lived in communities that mixed low income and middle class folks. It wasn’t such a bad thing. And to those who commented about yuppies alone liking the tiny home–that is not correct. If you look about Youtube or the net, you will find that “Preppers” are getting into the tiny home lifestyle too. I would choose a tiny home because I can design it; so I will be able to live in my home, my way. And because I would want a bit of land around it to keep a garden and some chickens etc. It’s about being greener, simple and freer while retaining my individuality…and hippies are generally gentle people. I lived through the sixties and seventies–so I knew the real hippies–never met one I felt afraid around or who would not discuss and co-operate on day to day life/community issues.

    Comment by tmd — 4/13/2014 @ 9:48 am

  11. I don’t think the tiny house movement is a “hippie” movement, yes there are those so called “hippie” types in it but I am seeing many professional younger people, people hitting or close to retirement age, ex-miltary getting into it. It just makes sense. Living smaller allows you to actually live. If you are not tied down with just paying your living expeneses, you can actually have the money to go places, do things, see this great land we live in. You can live happy. That is America. To not be a slave to a bank (mortgage), utility companies. I have actually seen “articles” that utility companies inflate the cost of solar systems to get people to lease them. Tiny house folks are saying no to greed. Saying yes to living within their abilities and saying they will be kinder to our planet at the same time. You do not have to be a “hippy” to see what being Eco friendly is all about.

    Comment by Bill — 6/28/2014 @ 4:04 am

  12. We are interested in a tiny house for a number of reasons. Not once did it occur to my wife and I that we were snobs for not wanting to live in a trailer park in a city.

    Comment by Carflax — 8/31/2014 @ 11:14 pm

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