“Tiny Homes” Emerging as an Alternative as Regulation Thwarts Housing Development

Written by Nicholas Vetrisek

As a result of decades of bureaucratic red tape preventing people from building houses and artificially restricting housing as a result, San Diegans are now resorting to desperate measures.

So called “tiny homes” have emerged as a contributing solution to the San Diego housing crisis. How tiny are they, you ask? Some are as small as 400 square feet or less. Additionally, they can be anywhere from $18,000 all the way up to $100,000.

The tiny houses may seem comical, but many people are just looking for a place to sleep and cook with the basic essentials. It’s not for everyone, of course, but providing the option to those interested is a market-based approach to mitigating the housing crisis.

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman has become a major proponent of these homes as a way to add affordable housing in San Diego. “This is a way to offer naturally affordable housing and also help homeowners offset their mortgage,” he said. 

Sherman is also advancing an ordinance that streamlines the process of getting permits for tiny homes that has successfully made its way out of committee and may be brought in front of the City Council soon. While this ordinance shows that at least some housing will finally be built, it still won’t address the underlying issue.

The responsibility of allowing affordable housing to be built lies solely with the state and local government at this moment. With the backlogs and bureaucracy, housing development is delayed and costs much more than is necessary. Places like San Diego are being abandoned in favor of Arizona and Nevada because developers know that in San Diego, and much of California, there is nothing they can do. 

If the government stopped interfering with the building of new houses, tiny homes wouldn’t need to be an option in the first place. It’s essential that government gets out of the way. If not, don’t be surprised when you’re paying $2,000 a month to live in a pod.