I ran a tiny cottage village where rent and utilities cost only $30

The creator of a $30-a-month tiny home village has revealed that they had to change the rules of the community after it had been effectively vacant for a year.

In Bernalillo County, New Mexico, the most populous area in the state surrounding Albuquerque, the popular multi-million dollar cottage village has been struggling for residents for some time.

Sarah Spain, director of New Mexico Tiny Home Village, noted that the fee waiver and relaxed requirements have filled the multi-million-dollar property with rentersCredit: KRQE
At least 36 residents now reside in the village and there are only four places leftCredit: KRQE

The Tiny Home Village program opened in the area in February 2021 with the goal of providing affordable housing to residents who were struggling, according to local CBS outlet and Fox KRQE.

It cost county officials $4.9 million to build, and has barely seen four residents remain in the community in two years.

The $30-a-month rent and utility fees, along with sobriety requirements, allegedly drove potential renters away, according to the program’s director, Sarah Spain.

Spain confirmed on Wednesday that the province was making changes, and that residents were moving quickly.

“We’ve revised the standards by which someone has to move here, and we’ve actually removed those barriers that people face when they’re unhoused or unstable,” she told the news station.

“Before, you had to have some sort of sobriety to get here.”

Besides the sobriety requirement and the $30 monthly fee, other strict rules supposedly contributed to others not wanting to take advantage of the housing project.

Spain also noted that the small indigenous village was understaffed, meaning there was no round-the-clock care for those who needed it.

Modifications have since been made, including eliminating the $30 fee and sobriety requirements.

The director noted that it is necessary to adapt to ensure safe housing is available to those who need it in the Bernalillo County area.

“We’ve actually been working to re-establish standards, re-establish the interview process to get unhoused people into safe housing as quickly as possible,” Spain explained to KRQE.

Spain added that all but four spots are full at the multi-million dollar cottage village in New Mexico.

“Right now, we have almost reached capacity, so we have 26 out of 30 homes full, which is a great achievement,” she noted.

Other managers confirmed to the outlet that the modifications were made in February 2023, exactly two years after the village opened, and they have since helped at least 24 residents move into safe housing.

There’s even a waiting list of more than 50 applications that managers are still vetting.

Some of the new residents have expressed their gratitude for the small home village.

Resident Danette Todd noted that the community has been a blessing over the past six months, as she was previously homeless and living in her car.

“When I was sleeping in my car or at people’s house from church, I felt like a lonely worm,” she explained to KRQE.

“(I) didn’t know where to go, and then when I went, it was like a cocoon that I needed to feel safe, and now when I get my own apartment, I’ll spread my butterfly wings.”

For more related content, see The US Sun’s coverage of a new tiny home village set to open that includes buildings large enough for families.

The US Sun also has a story on a tiny home community that residents can test out for $150.

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