The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to

Tiny Home Community (8)

Black-and-White Photos of '60s Back-to-Land Communes in New Mexico


No one captured the spirit and essence of the ’60s southwest American communes better than Irwin Klein. With a Leica, black and white film, and natural lighting, he created an authentic and artistic record of this unique and short-lived period of back-to-the-land ’60s idealism.

Poet Gary Snyder, in Earth House Hold, described the ’60s communards: “Men, women and children — all of whom together hoped to follow the timeless path of love and wisdom, in affectionate company with sky, wind, clouds, trees, waters, animals, and grasses — this is the drive.”

In this newly-published book, you can see the optimism, the earnestness, and yes, the impracticalities of these young, mostly urban people who left the cities for the harsh climate of the high desert of New Mexico. Irwin was a photographer who was obviously in tune with his subjects, and they with him, so you are getting an inside look at a period now lost in time, with these spare and insightful photos.

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Tiny House Village in Eugene, Oregon

Tiny red house

In Eugene, the Whoville tent camp has returned, this time to city-owned land next to a downtown street.

Eugene urban planner Andrew Heben has an alternative idea to tents: tiny houses.

The author of Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages (The Village Collaborative, $18) co-founded the nonprofit organization Opportunity Village Eugene, which last year created a community where people live in 30 tiny houses.

There is no electricity or plumbing, but the front doors can be locked for privacy and the modular, simple structures keep the rain, wind and chill away. A tenant can personalize the 80-square-feet space. Many have sleeping lofts over the kitchen/desk area. A few have painted the plywood walls.

Residents share a communal kitchen, bathrooms, showers and gathering space.Š

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Uber, AirBnB, and Tesla Challenge the Status Quo

It was through AirBnB that I discovered the so-called tiny house movement after someone in Seattle listed his hand-built gyspy wagon was available for rent in his backyard for just $40 a night.

Tiny houses are usually under 200 square feet in size, but generally have all the amenities of a home — kitchens, baths, bedrooms, etc. — just less of them. An enterprising person can buy a 20-foot trailer from a local big box store and build a house on it for $30,000 or less. There’s actually nothing illegal about such buildings, or even parking them in your driveway, because they’re considered a temporary structure. They only run afoul of local zoning laws when they’re declared as your legal residence.

Still they’re proliferating across the country as people opt to not burden themselves with a mortgage and reject the trend toward building McMansions with all the attendant resource waste they represent. Tiny houses also offer a low-cost housing solution that’s allowing several Oregon communities to meet the needs of the homeless……

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Modest Bay Area Homes Hit Mind-Boggling Prices

“Two years of tight supply and intense demand have pushed prices for modest Bay Area homes in trendy neighborhoods to mind-boggling heights. In Palo Alto, tiny homes sell for multiple millions of dollars. In Oakland’s sought-after Rockridge district, a home just sold for $500,000 over the asking price. With the price of homes in Palo Alto skyrocketing, Ken Plourde, a 79-year-old retired jazz bass player, decided it was time to sell the home he bought for $35,000 in 1970. “I was sitting on a gold mine,” said Plourde, whose income from music gigs has been declining with his advancing years and changes in the live music business.”…

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Tiny House Workshop with Deek Diedricksen & Friends: November 22-23, North Carolina

NC NEWER flyer 2014Deek is the artist/author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze In Here, prolific designer, builder, video maker, media prankster, musician, and has been featured in our books Tiny Homes as well as Tiny Homes on the Move.

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