CHURCHES met opposition after building tiny dwelling villages on their grounds to house the homeless.
But a little-known Minnesota law that will go into effect next year will ensure houses of worship can build these settlements as long as they comply with local planning and zoning codes.
There are currently two distinct small home villages of churches in the Minneapolis area: KARE reported.
Six houses were built in the Mosaic Christian Community in St. Paul and two more were built in theof Peace Lutheran Church in nearby Roseville.
Valerie Roy lives in one of those “holy settlements,” as many Minnesota housing advocates call them.
“It’s a lot better than living in a car or shelter, which I’ve had for 12 years,” the Roseville resident said.
“It just has a lot more dignity than an ordinary animal shelter.”
Roy does not have plumbing or a full kitchen in her unit, but is allowed to use the facilities in the main church building.
But not everyone loves these tiny shared apartments.
Some community leaders were concerned that these structures did not comply with local zoning laws.
That’s why Rep. Athena Hollins, a St. Paul Democrat, authored a bill to codify these sacred settlements into Minnesota law.
“From now on, the kind of tiny houses used for sacred settlements would legally come under the label of recreational vehicles because they are built on wheels to be moved to their permanent location,” says Hollins called in March, before had passed.
“Minnesota law does not allow recreational vehicles as a permanent form of housing.”
The new law, passed in June, clarifies that places of worship can use these buildings as permanent housing for the homeless, those in economic need and volunteers.
The bill will officially go into effect on January 1st.
Rep. Hollins did not immediately respond to the US Sun’s request for comment.