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A tiny home of one's own: black women embrace the small house movement

Stashed in: Women, Homeless, Personal Finance, Tiny Homes

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The subprime mortgage industry fed off the American dream of home ownership, especially among communities of color -- certainly here in the Bay Area the difference in default rates almost exactly proceeded along racial lines. Now some African-American women are taking their futures into their own hands by building their own tiny houses in both city and country.

Makes a lot of sense to me. I'm going this route, too.

Small homes are all the rage. So much so that they’re featured in the New York Times’ style section, and entire Tumblrs are dedicated to them. In fact, the “tiny house movement” is now so popular that it is in turn documentedcelebrated and mocked.

At the heart of the phenomenon is the 2008 economic crisis and its devastating corollary, the housing bust. As Americans face a housing market they can no longer trust or afford, a growing number of them have turned their attention to homes that are at maximum 1,000 square feet – an affordable alternative to the American dream of homeownership.


With all the understandable hype about tiny houses, Fitch, Jones, and Turman offer a more nuanced understanding of how race and gender mitigate the buzz.

“Until we can recognize there are many ideations of what prosperity and comfort look like in this society will different groups buy into tiny houses,” Turman concluded. “And [black women might buy into tiny houses] once black women are allow access to the capital they need. There needs to be a shift in our becoming landowners instead of just homeowners.”

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