Integrating Tiny and Small Houses into the American Urban Fabric: a Comparative Case Study in the Carolinas

Authors: Krista Evans*, Missouri State University
Topics: Planning Geography, Land Use
Keywords: tiny house movement, land use policy, urban infill, case study, visual preference survey
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon D2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The tiny house movement has emerged as a means to promote small, affordable and sustainable home ownership. However, the construction of tiny homes, is illegal in many places throughout the United States due to factors such as current land use policy and building codes. The challenge remains, therefore, as how to change accommodate the legal allowance of small and tiny houses, while retaining good city form. This research examines how communities are altering land use policy to accommodate small and tiny houses. It does so through a comparative case research design and visual preference survey (VPS). The development of tiny house policy and the perceived success of initiatives are explored at the case study locations of Asheville, North Carolina, and Horry County, South Carolina. These communities are pioneering the way in the development of tiny house policy in the southeastern United States. Furthermore, perceptions of tiny homes are explored through the use of a visual preference survey (VPS) tool which examines preferences for various design elements and the several ways in which tiny houses may be integrated into urban areas. The analysis has resulted in a holistic understanding of driving factors behind tiny house integration measures, challenges to adopting policy, stakeholder concerns, and best practices. The findings may aid planners and policy makers who are interested in crafting tiny house regulations.

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