What are Mini/Tiny Homes
Mini-homes, also referred to as tiny homes, are residential dwellings typically less than 400 square feet in size. Mini-homes have lower construction, maintenance, and utility costs than large lot single family housing, and can provide a flexible housing type for changing demographics and market trends.
As much as 40% of people living in tiny homes are 50 and older according to AARP.4
Develop housing options for seniors to age-in-community
Tiny homes are a diverse housing type that provide lower maintenance, more affordably-priced living for seniors.
Facilitate multigenerational and shared housing
Tiny homes can be placed on the same parcels as other homes, making them an option for multigenerational housing.
Create a range of price options for housing
Mini-homes have lower construction, maintenance, and utility costs than typical single-family homes and the smaller lot size needed to accommodate the homes can further increase affordability.
Make it Happen
Similar to regulating traditional housing, municipal regulations for mini-homes should regulate density, impervious cover, landscaping, buffering, access, stormwater management, utilities, property maintenance, and other critical features with appropriate design standards. Municipalities can incentivize mini-home development through reducing permitting fees, reducing lot and bulk requirements, providing additional technical assistance, and providing pre-approved designs.
Mini/Tiny Homes in Practice
Tiny Estates is a mini-home community located in Mt. Joy Township, Lancaster County. It was established at the site of an older campground as a continuation of a grandfathered use. As of 2018, Tiny Estates was the largest mini-home community in the United States.
Minka designs tiny homes with many homes designed specifically for seniors.
Find Out More
- Zoning Practice for Tiny Homes, The American Planning Association Guidance on issues as they relate to zoning and the establishment of mini-homes.
- The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP): Numerous resources related to tiny homes including: legal regulations, considerations prior to purchase, and how to adjust lifestyles to fit a tiny home.
- Mini-homes eTool, Chester County Planning Commission The Chester County Planning Commission provides a virtual tool to assist municipalities to implement tiny homes.