I built my perfect tiny home from scratch but got evicted from the city – they said I made a critical mistake
A COLLEGE student was evicted from his tiny home in a charming community nearing his midterms because of his height.
David Andrews attended the University of Colorado and built his own tiny house on wheels to provide affordable student housing.
He parked his house in a backyard in Boulder, which is extremely desirable and expensive.
The tiny house was on a small lot with a shared garden that David had planted with his neighbors who lived across from him in a mobile home.
David parked there for six months and lived happily alongside his neighbors while they enjoyed the outdoors together.
He, his neighbors and their children would pick the vegetables and use them for fresh meals as part of their passion for sustainable living.
But shortly before his midterms, David’s landlord received an eviction notice.
This was due to a code violation and the tiny home residents were given 30 days to vacate their buildings.
Previously, no one had commented on concerns surrounding the small houses.
It turned out that the tiny house was too small to be classified as a house and therefore David and his neighbors lived in non-conforming structures.
David was forced to put his home into storage for a month as he and his small community worked with the city to provide a temporary grant for these small homes.
He told Tiny House Blog, “The City of Boulder does not have an adequate statute book regarding tiny houses or other non-traditional forms of housing.
“The midget is essentially non-conforming, and living in a structure was not allowed.”
Members of the community, including landlords whose tenants were experiencing similar problems, tirelessly spoke up at council meetings and wrote letters to the city.
David said: “I reached out to all the council members and shared my story, part of which was showing them the video of my house.
“The majority of the City Council immediately sided with us and agreed that there is a problem with non-compliant structures and that it needs to be addressed.
“At a meeting, they asked the City Attorney if they could write a letter allowing those who have been kicked out a temporary exemption from codes and ordinances so that we can continue to live within our structures.”
In a warning to other people hoping to live in tiny houses, David said: “Be very careful to make sure you can be legal if you want to do that.
“There are many ways to work around sticky situations like mine, just be prepared to adjust your plan.”
David and his partner Erin Donahue now live in a tiny house on a farm in Mid-Coast Maine.
The couple owns Tiny Acres Farm, which focuses on producing organic food from their unceded homeland of Wabanaki.