Any firm or person in the Baltimore area can design their own tiny house and work with the Civic Works team to ensure it stays affordable and meets code. Civic Works also utilizes the federal YouthBuild program and receives funding to provide teaching, a classroom, and hands-on training for 17- to 24-year-old workers who want to earn their GED by learning the construction trade. Even if they don’t ultimately decide to work in construction, they receive important job skills such as teamwork and time management.
Civic Works isn’t marketing these houses as a direct solution to the vacant row houses that might be torn down in the near future, says Dana Stein, executive director at Civic Works, but as an affordable, eco-friendly option maximizing a budget and repurposing the empty lots that would be left behind. “If there’s a small lot on a street that once included a row house before it was torn down, that would be perfect,” Stein says.
Stein credits Greg Cantori, CEO of Maryland Nonprofts, with the idea for Civic Works’ YouthBuild workforce training program as well as using tiny houses to increase the amount of affordable housing within the city. Cantori purchased his own tiny home a few years ago, and encouraged Civic Works to try and build at least one tiny house prototype as a model for sustainable living for low-wage workers.
Read the whole story online at CityLab.