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Big Potential For Tiny Houses47:06

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Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

For years, Americans have been on the McMansion trail.  Bigger and bigger homes have driven up the average size of US accomodations and expectations.  But there is a counter-movement, the “tiny house movement,” that is pushing for just the opposite.  Pushing for – and building and living in – teeny tiny houses.  Five hundred square feet.  Four hundred.  Three hundred.  Two hundred.  And tiny apartments, too – micro-apartments – gaining interest.  Backers.  Dwellers.  The tiny house people say it’s all about living light.  Maybe living better, in a very small space.  This hour On Point:  tiny houses, and the urge to live small.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Greg Johnson, cofounder and president of the Small House Society. Author of "Put Your Life On A Diet: Lessons Learned From Living In 140 Square Feet." (@resources4life)

Chris Leinberger, director of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University Business School. President of Locus. Author of "The Option of Urbanism." (@chrisleinberger)

Chris Page, small-house dweller in Andover, Mass.

Julie Williams, micro-apartment resident in Washington, DC.

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR News: Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big — "While the average size of new houses gets bigger every year in the U.S., some people are trying to do more with less. A lot less. Tiny houses and micro apartments are now a niche trend in the housing market. Smaller spaces are touted as more environmentally friendly, more affordable and perhaps even more communal. The idea is you might be more likely to get out and be social if you live in a smaller space."

WFAE: Big Challenges For Tiny Houses In North Carolina — "If you could design your dream home, what would it look like? A big house with a four car garage? Maybe something more modest but efficient. Places like Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC have communities experimenting with small living spaces known as tiny houses. North Carolina has caught on to the tiny house trend—homes that are tiny by nature, but artistically designed for those looking for a more compact way of living without going into much debt. "

The Oregonian: 'Portlandia' tiny house: Fred and Carrie have never been so close -- "Are you searching for an affordable home in Portland's Alberta Arts District? Does your soul want sustainability yet your heart yearns for luxuries like a master bathroom with soaking tub, TV and a window framing landscape? Would an efficient home office and library filled with classics feed your mind? The tiny house that stars in Thursday's episode of 'Portlandia' might be the perfect fit. If you can squeeze in."

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