Talk to anyone here in San Diego County, or across the nation for that matter, and they will tell you that property can be incredibly expensive in California. This is perhaps the biggest downside our state has to offer its residents, many of whom may struggle to afford their homes or rental properties.
In some areas, gentrification, a term used to describe the arrival of wealthier residents in an area, has resulted in a rise in property values as well as rental prices, making it difficult financially for some to remain in the area. Far to our north, in areas like Richmond, gentrification is responsible for “the loss of more than a third of the city’s African American population from 2000 to 2013,” explains an article written for the Cal Alumni Association for UC Berkeley.
One solution to this problem, some say, could lie in the tiny house movement. For those here in Southern California who don’t know, tiny homes are generally a fraction of the size of a normal house, often consisting of around 100 to 400 square feet, explains the Tiny Life. Smaller homes mean less land use, which means less money spent out of pocket by tiny-home dwellers. Rent on such units may be incredibly low as well – another bonus for California residents who are struggling to afford their current homes or rental units.
One tiny-house project currently in the works at UC Berkeley in Richmond hopes to resolve its gentrification problem by offering affordable tiny house options for students, researchers, university staff and faculty, as well as community residents. The hope by many is that these efforts will help address and resolve an issue that is not just a problem for Richmond but for cities all over California.