Local News

Fayetteville explores idea to build tiny homes to house homeless residents

Posted October 8, 2019 6:16 p.m. EDT
Updated October 9, 2019 11:59 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville is considering a proposal to build tiny homes to provide housing for the city's chronic population of homeless people.

The City Council on Monday approved a plan to study the idea and directed the city manager to issue a report in 30 days that would examine the pros and cons of developing a tiny home community that would be erected within city limits.

If approved, the city hopes that longterm homeless residents will find permanent shelter.

"I live in my car right now with my dogs," said Sharman Tober, who has five dogs and is currently living out of her car parked outside the main library in downtown Fayetteville.

The city's other homeless encampments, like the tents erected under the Person Street Bridge, have caught the attention of Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, who wants to build tiny homes for the homeless.

"We saw other communities that have been very successful with these miniature tiny homes, and they're anywhere from 200 square feet to 500 square feet," Colvin said.

In addition to providing homes, the city would provide other services to help keep the homeless people off the street.

Tober said she supports the idea.

"You don't need much," she said. "You need a kitchen, a bathroom, a loft or a place to lay (down) at night for two or three people," she said.

Colvin said having a permanent home provides a measure of stability.

"People can't get on the road to recovery, (or) you can't talk about substance abuse and getting your life back on the right track if you don't have anywhere stable to lay your head," he said.

Larry McKnight said he also supports the idea of building a tiny home community.

He said he's clean now from the drugs and alcohol that led to his homelessness.

He currently lives under an awning outside the Fayetteville Police Department, his home for the past two years.

He said he wants to know how long it would take the city to build the tiny home community.

"I would probably ask (the mayor) how long would it take . . . if they got to build them?"

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