Committee shuts down plan to build tiny homes for Chattanooga homeless

Committee shuts down plan to build tiny homes for Chattanooga homeless

Rev. Barry Kidwell feeds rabbits at the farm owned by Mustard Tree Ministries. Kidwell is seeking a planned unit development to build 32 tiny houses to rent for his homeless ministry. (CTFP photo)

By Dave Flessner/ Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 10, 2016) -- A local ministry to homeless people is facing its own troubles finding a home for a community of tiny houses it wants to develop in Ooltewah where residents can live and work, raising food for themselves and others.

City and county planners Monday chopped down plans by the Mustard Tree Ministries for a planned unit development of 32 tiny homes proposed to be built on a 16.8-acre farm at Snow Hill and Mahan Gap Roads. By a 13-2 vote, the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission recommended against allowing the United Methodist Church-backed ministry to build a cluster of 300-square-foot homes on a farm once used to house the Lighthouse United Methodist Church at the corner of Snow Hill and Mahan Gap roads.

Mike Purcell, a board member of the Mustard Tree Ministries, said the community of tiny homes would total no more than the number of homes allowed on the property under its current agricultural zoning. He said the complex would help provide needed, affordable housing for those coming off of being homeless and wanting to live in a rural setting.

"There is an increasing need for affordable housing in the Chattanooga area," Purcell told the planning commission, noting that the tiny homes could rent for about $300 or so a month to help formerly homeless people who are finding jobs and rebuilding their lives.

See complete story in Chattanooga Times Free Press ...

See preceding May 7 story ...


WTVC UPDATE: Controversial tiny homes gain support

OOLTEWAH, Tenn. (May 13) -- New efforts are underway to gain support for the "tiny homes for the homeless" community in Ooltewah.

Monday, neighbors spoke out against it at a Hamilton County Planning Commission Meeting. The Commission did not give the project a recommendation. Neighbors started a petition with more than 600 signatures - showing opposition.

But now, there's another petition.

See complete WTVC story ...

See petition ...