People of Richmond: Should the city house more people in tiny homes?
on October 6, 2023
“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.
Q: Do you agree that Richmond should be building more tiny homes for people now living in encampments?
“Yes. We need to look for every possible solution for homeless people, regardless whether it is tiny homes or other buildings as well.” (Alison Moreno, librarian, pictured above)
“Yes. I work in youth development and run a program called Youth Works that creates jobs for youth and young adults in the age range of 16 to 24 in Richmond. I know there are little to no shelter options here, especially in Richmond and in West County. Calli House is the only youth shelter that’s in West County, and I know they have very limited beds there. There is a high need for that type of housing.” (Brandon Evans, city worker)
“I saw in the news in LA that they did that. But it lasted some certain time, but then people did a lot of a mess. You need to see if they’re going to put someone to actually pay attention to that. … And then also I feel like there’s other things that we need for use our taxes on, like the streets; we need buses for the school.” (Teresa Gutierrez)
“Yes. It’s not humane for people to be living on the streets without any ways to care for themselves.”(Brianna Marshall, library worker)
“I think it’s a solution. If it’s well-funded, well-monitored, it’s a good thing. I care about the city. I’m in a neighborhood where the city tried to do it with mobile homes … and didn’t notify the neighborhood. So there was an uproar about it. So there needs to be notification, community involvement, that kind of thing. I’m serious about that. I am looking for the remedies to people living in encampments. I’m glad to hear any idea.” (Claire Chachere)
“I think it’s a good idea to have more small houses for people because there’s a lot more out here that, you know, we’re still in the cold,” he said. “I got a job already so, me, I just need stability to lay my head. And then I want to see my kids. I can’t see my kids because I mean I’m in a tent.” (Jemante Youngblood)
“Yes, that’ll be cool. But why won’t they just build apartments there for people? Because them things ain’t nothing but a shed.”(Angela Snowden)
“As someone who’s for affordable housing, tiny homes may sound good in theory, but I’m just concerned about what that’s going to attract. … I think tiny homes won’t be a good fit for the community.” (Cordell Hindler)
“Absolutely. I think housing is a human right. Everyone deserves a good, clean, safe, affordable or free home. I’m in favor of all housing of all types. I think we should be doing all we can as a society to get good, quality housing for everyone.” (Coire Reilly, transportation program manager)
“There’s a lot of people who need a home to live, and more people need help with that. For me, I’m renting a small room because it’s too expensive.”(Jose Gonzalez, city worker)
“They need it, because some people don’t got nowhere to go, just got to find somewhere like a mattress and blanket. … I been through it. That’s why I know.” (Speedy Jones)
“There’s clearly a problem of available affordable housing. Tiny homes that don’t make a big footprint are more aligned with environmental concerns — you can produce more of them. So it seems like it would be the beginning of an appropriate response.” (Ali bond, pictured with son Emil)
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