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New tiny home prototype could become common sight on the Central Coast

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Posted at 9:24 PM, Apr 12, 2023

We are getting a first look at a type of tiny home that could become more common on the Central Coast in the coming years.

The tiny home has just about everything that a single person could need, and it’s much more affordable than a traditional home or apartment.

“This is a different way of thinking and a necessary way of thinking,” said Rick Vansant, who lives in Paso Robles.

Dozens of people came out to see the new model for a tiny home on wheels in San Luis Obispo Wednesday.

“What I really love about this particular design is that there’s a big window up front which lets a lot of natural light in,” said Paso Robles Resident Barbara Vansant.

Smart Share’s tiny cottage comes with a kitchen, bathroom, and living room space.

There’s even an upstairs.

“Being able to go up the steps—and there’s just enough room to sleep up there or sit up and read. What more do you need to do? So, it’s just such efficient living yet beautifully designed so you feel comfortable—it’s modern,” said Barbara.

Tiny homes like these could be the key to increasing housing inventory and offering more affordable living options on the Central Coast.

“Prices are related to a supply shortage. Technically, California has a shortage of about 1.2 million residential housing units in the state,” said Homeless Advocate Tim Waag.

Sky-high housing prices are hurting low-income workers the most.

“Low-income people literally are priced out of anywhere to live, and a tiny home is a solution,” explained Waag.

The goal is to ramp up production of these tiny homes, which can easily fit in a backyard and serve as an add-on rental unit.

“I think the whole concept of small-space living is amazing. This particular job is above and beyond anything else I’ve seen,” said Rick.

Tiny homes are one of many creative options aimed at making the Central Coast a more affordable place to live.

“There are many different options. Obviously, a tiny home is not for everybody, but it does meet the needs of a large percentage of people,” said Waag.

The cottage is the prototype for the Waterman Peace Village which will bring up to 20 tiny homes to the historic Rosa Burton Adobe in Downtown San Luis Obispo.

The only difference is that this tiny home has wheels.

The Waterman Peace Village project is expected to break ground sometime next Spring.