PORTLAND, Ore. – Neighbors in a North Portland neighborhood voted to convert an empty lot into a pod of 14 tiny houses designed to help women transition out of homelessness.
Kenton residents voted 178-75 in support of the proposed pod Wednesday night.
Before neighbors voted, they heard final arguments for and against the one-year pilot project. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler offered his support.
“If there’s any troubleshooting or problem solving that needs to happen in the community, I’m promising to be responsive to those needs,” he said.
Meanwhile, others weren’t convinced the tiny house village was a good idea. One man asked, “Why would a neighborhood take on a commitment with inevitable neighborhood impact without anything in return?”
A community meeting was first held in February to discuss the plan.
The tiny homes, designed and built by Portland State architecture students, will go in a lot on North Argyle Way. Volunteers from several organizations will finish the lot and install the pods, which could be ready to go as early as next month.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to meet our new 14 neighbors,” one supporter said.
Once the pods are installed, Catholic Charities will help choose the women who will get to live in them temporarily. There will be common areas for toilets, cooking and dining, as well as on-site electricity.
“We’re not providing long-term permanent residence. We’re providing some amenities and some necessities for people to fill the gap and transition away from living on the streets,” another supporter said.
After a year, the homes may move to a different part of the city.