In the tradition of
the civil rights movement, AHHA has not only challenged us to
respond to the unsheltered crisis with actions that match the
"enormity of the situation."
|"We have not seen the kind of
action that the enormity of the situation demands.... Our
churches are bombed and burned, people are shot, the vote
Martin Luther King, Jr.
With courage, integrity, and
hard work, AHHA has created a vision and a path to help move us
toward the "beloved community" described by
Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can
share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community,
poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because
international standards of human decency will not allow it.
31 of our
vulnerable neighbors died
outside from June
1, 2018 - August 31, 2019. (Will
provide update when becomes
County Coroner's Report
Count for the "homeless" which is taken on one day is always an
undercount. This year (2019) it was 1473 for Humboldt
County (compared to 668 in 2017). https://www.times-standard.com
following presentation AHHA invites the City of Arcata to partner
with them. The invitation extends to all of us.
because momentum is building to create the life-saving, caring,
healing, affordable solutions AHHA has been advancing to fill the
updated 2019 Humboldt County Housing
prioritizes "Tiny House Villages" as an
This insightful North Coast Journal article
by Freddy Brewster conveys the historical importance of
adopting bold and innovative and affordable solutions (which this
site demonstates have been advocated by AHHA such as but
not limited to Tiny Home Villages) by not only incorporating them
in a housing element but also through a commitment by
staff to work with the community to move forward to make them
a reality to address our housing
"With Housing Element Passed, Staff Pushes Forward
on Tiny Houses" BY FREDDY
President of the board of
is here tonight to invite you to enter
partnership to create a pilot Tiny House
Invitation extends to all communities seeking affordable,
practical, supportive solutions to provide
The village is
modeled after Opportunity Village in Eugene
Oregon. Andrew Heben is the co-founder and urban planner who has
successfully pulled that off in Eugene. And it is being implemented
across the country in many places.
Tiny House Villages offer
a new paradigm for what would be considered Bridge Housing or
Emergency Bridge or Interim Housing that is much more economically
accessible and also
8-Minute PBS Video on
(Can be Viewed at Link
at Bottom of Page)
2014 we brought Andrew here from Oregon and held a community forum
in Eureka at the Women's Club and had 250 participants who were very
excited about the idea of Tiny House Villages. And the
sentiment overarching was that something like this should be
available throughout Humboldt County.
So our focus
has always been on a countywide kind of approach because it's
something that's needed in every community to accommodate our lack
of affordable housing particularly for people that have few
Our vision is that
everyone has a human right to a safe legal place to live.
AHHA's mission is to provide
advocacy and policy development for affordable housing alternatives
with* the homeless in Humboldt County. And to facilitate the
implementation of these alternative housing models by networking
with private groups, nonprofits, public agencies, faith-based
organizations, individual volunteers, and by partnering with the
cities, county and others to ensure development and capacity
*("With" was strongly
We have been working for
several years since we began organizing prior to becoming a
nonprofit, finding out who the stakeholders are and working with
them across the board.
We have held open community
conversations for the past two years at St.Vincent de Paul in Eureka
with those who have been experiencing homelessness and the larger
community to discuss affordable camps-to-village alternatives, safe
parking. And as an integral part of community, what that might
look like and what people would
In our conversations we
discussed simple community agreements.
You have a packet that
is for this presentation tonight. And then there are some sample
operations procedures and also the community agreements. We
have gone over basic operating rules. types of dwellings from tents
to tiny house designs that are potentially on or off the
And we've had engineers meet with some of the folks
that are living outside. And Michael can talk a little bit more
about that later.
Those that are living homeless are witness
to the effectiveness of village life. And their wisdom is
included in our proposals and our projects because they have taught
us the best practices about living in a community. They know
what that's like. They've been living outside rough and in
encampments for a long time.
September AHHA held a Tiny House Expo. Over 700 people participated.
And they came to see the demonstration on how a sanctuary camp can
morph into a tiny house village. We have lots of other
options for how people can accommodate themselves when they are
homeless in affordable ways.
But here we had also the CCC set
up a field kitchen to demonstrate how easy it is to have safe and
easy sanitation and food services as well as storage for a large
number of people.
This is a
graphic from the Village Collaborative or the sanctuary camp for
Andrew Heben's graphics.
You can see that this is what we
would consider our phase one of the village because people need to
live in place. So there are tents and clusters as tiny houses
would be in clusters with a central facility and food preparation
area. There's porta-potties and dumpsters at the entrance.
Also a gate check-in and check-out, There's also
sanitation hand-washing stations. This is near a bus stop
which is one of the amenities for a site.
AHHA's meme is
"safe warm and dry first." It's kind of the Housing First concept.
Our project model facilitates those experiencing homelessness
(particularly chronic homelessness) getting into immediate
affordable safe camping and village programs.
The emphasis is
on building community and getting potential residents into safe
healthy conditions where they can begin to stabilize and thrive and
recover from the trauma of being homeless...as well as other
trauma...and be supported in the highest level of independence
The village would be co-managed between the
oversight with the nonprofit and the residents who would be
exercising independence in their decision-making. There would be a
council that would be the village council that would meet once a
week. And residents would be required to participate.
tiny houses are developed they will allow each resident the privacy
and autonomy that we all need for gathering ourselves together...and
a safe place also to keep their belongings.
But the security
of having a door and being able to lock it is something that
actually allows for people to rest for the duration.
addition no one would be on site without their being knowledge of
Everyone has to be approved and it's
important that we maintain the security for the sake of the
residents. And it's like any other gated community.
communal setting and positive social support from peers, and the
shared responsibilities for the environment, the community, and the
use of common facilities brings people into community life in a way
that encourages integration and brings interdependence and a sense
of mutuality and trust. They're responsible. It's their home.
It's their environment.
The goal for AHHA for the
village would be to facilitate access to opportunities for as many
as possible for all residents whether it's healthcare
(medical, physical, or mental), social services, skill
development, education, training, entrepreneurship,
micro businesses, job placement, or just being part of a
healthy, thriving supportive community.
mentioned was our vision.
The village model by design, by its
very nature, is a recovery kind of environment that will prevent and
mitigate the negative consequences or outcomes of experiencing
homelessness for those that have been chronically
The village, as I said, would be co-managed. And
you have an example of the community agreements. We have a
basic set of rules that we have actually vetted or have been
informed about from those people who have lived in communities that
have been homeless.
So AHHA would be the contractor with the
city and for the other services. While residents would be
self-regulating and required to participate in the meetings where
any issues that arise would be processed for resolution because
self-governance is a core value of the community.
To build a
community, we would be working with local contractors and community
members. The village responsibilities would be those of the
community members. And there are many tasks from maintaining
the entrance and visitors,
to recycling and
garbage, security, tool maintenance and so on.
scale of this development is really what's the most important thing
here because it can be carried out within a local level, our local
community level. And it's kind of a grassroots model for
developing low-cost housing without the dependence on government
subsidy. So nobody's asking you for a lot of money.
We're asking you for your support in having a space and
working with us to accomplish some of what would be required to get
that site prepared and so on.
AHHA encourages everyone to
Andrew Heben's book if you haven't. It's really very good.
And he's a great author.
The Tiny House
Village provides a path for people to get out of homelessness.
And it's intended really as alternatives. He writes of
the tiny house village not only for the original residents
people trying to get
on a pathway out of
homelessness into community.
But it's also for seeking
alternatives to conventional housing options because the
alternatives can reduce human impact and can increase s focus on
building community rather than other
See end of web
page for how to order Andrew Heben's
have built a few houses.
[Note: Can be
adapted to other sites/communities]
But this is kind of a
view of what the community would look like once established.
This is a graphic again of what a transitional community would be.
So the tents have been replaced by tiny houses in a central
facility. That's a yurt.
And the gardens remain. This
is a site map of what would be the parcel in Alder Grove. The
street on this side would be Erickson Way where the arrow comes in.
There's one driveway. There's a road adjacent or a drive
adjacent to this parcel.
This is the gathering place.
The kitchen. [Baths.] The recreation area. These would
be rest rooms. A gate and office.
All the clusters of
little houses would be the same. This is a little bit... just
a demonstration of all emergency sleeping cabins that are oriented
it says there towards south-southwest to capture most of the
sunshine on the site.
Now we have visited this site.
And we've been studying it over the winter and we are very
aware. And there will be an overhead
in a minute.
But through these wet weather days we realize that
this site is subject to flooding and the roadway is much higher than
the ground. So that there's a lot of water there that would need to
be mitigated prior to being utilized as a project
Susan Ornelas (Mayor of Arcata City Council):
that one acre?
Nezzie: About that.
There's a garden scene here too somewhere. Yeah and all
kinds of projects could be
So, why does
AHHA have the capacity to develop a tiny house village? We've been
studying it for a long time. And we have lots of great consultants
and people across the country who are eager to help us proceed and
lots of local support in terms of volunteers and our board
We've also got connections with suppliers
and with businesses who would really like to see this proliferate
throughout the county.
But Arcata is a perfect place because
of the ethics and the values that are core to Arcata being
successful in other very innovative projects.
We figure this
is a really good opportunity.
Our board expertise.
We have lots of very talented individuals. A few of whom
have varied expertise in lived experience of homelessness in
encampments and on the street...extreme poverty.
property management as well as shelter operations, legal services,
program development. Including employment programs.,
engineering and contracting housing
development, and implementation and street outreach, And each
member has an extensive network of resources and support. We
also have experience in building houses.
And we have a lot of
service partners that are in place. Arcata House management is
willing to do case management for the village. And we also have
connections because of being a member of the Housing and Homeless
Coalition for a number of years now. And also we have DHHS and
other services that we would rely on. So each resident would
have a transition plan or a service plan.
And again we would
like to call on Arcata, on the council, the city to be a pioneer and
our partner in creating a pilot project based on your
environmentally innovative values.
And we'll come back to
What we need is land and the political will to do
Member of the Board
My name is Mike
Avcollie. I'm also a board member of the Affordable Homeless Housing
I would like to just thank citizens of Arcata,
City Council, and staff for being here and letting us present
I'm just going to jump back to this slide about what
is labeled a detached bedroom or a tiny home.
Nezzie mentioned we have already built a couple of prototype homes
in our preparation for taking on a project like this.
has been in consultation with HSU students and engineering classes
up there to work on heating and lighting systems. I'm one of those
students and that's how I got involved in this project.
We've also partnered with Engineers Without Borders to
develop waste water treatment strategies for this project. One of
the things we knew when we were working on this as a student group
is that we had to maintain low-cost options for the project.
This is a rough example of some of the costs. We were able
to try to stay under $5,000 for the material costs for one tiny
Now part of
that is is a simple shell constructed mostly of two-by-fours and
plywood. We put a lot of technology into our thermal solutions
to try to keep these buildings warm. We also came up with some
electrical solutions both off-grid and grid connected for the
Again, a rough budget for one house...we
tried to come under $5000. And you can just see it
extrapolated out for the potential of six or twelve
concerns...I'm just going to go back to what we were thinking of
when we worked on these plans. It was to keep the residents of
the houses warm, safe, and dry...which was a big challenge.
We got a chance to interview a lot of people who are living
on the streets in Eureka and Arcata. And one of the things we
learned is that these folks reported that they were never dry.
It just was unachievable living on the streets.
thought about that, we realized that in these tiny homes, moisture
buildup could be a really big problem. So while we might be
able to get them out of the weather and keep bulk moisture off of
them, humans are a big source of moisture within a building.
And so we are very concerned about that.
of the habitation was really important to us. Those were some of our
A base design
we thought we should have always try to achieve maximal thermal
performance, use standard materials that could be found easily, that
would maintain our cost. We also added a layer of value
engineering where we thought about alternative materials, natural
building, volunteer labor, and other things that could really help
us control costs. Those were again some more of the concerns
of some of the design teams.
This is a scale
drawing of one of the tiny homes that was built. It was built
out at the Blue Ox facility in Eureka. You can see that this
is just a little bit bigger. The footprint of it is just a little
bit bigger than a sheet of plywood (eight feet by 10 feet and under
nine feet tall).
Some of the
details you'll see. It was 2x4 framing in the roof in the
walls and in the flooring. But we did think about adding
layers of insulation. California Building Code will require R15 for
wall insulation. We did our best to try to provide that level
of thermal protection.
We thought a lot about keeping bulk
moisture out of the buildings while still letting the internal
moisture of the residents wick or breathe out and to be able to
So some of the details you'll see here are
layering...different vapor barriers and insulation layers. And
again the engineering students were trying to use the best building
sciences available to do the most we could with very little
resources. So that was a wall section.
This is a floor
section. Again a very minimal
But you see
we thought about six mil plastic on the ground to keep vapor from
mitigating up into the buildings. They would be built on
pressure-treated skids as a foundation. That's not the best.
But it allows them to be picked up on a forklift and moved and put
in place for a village that may be a temporary facility.
lot of the thought behind these houses are that they are not always
going to be the most permanent source of housing. Our site
might not always be a permanent home for these tiny homes. So
they need to be mobile.
Again. Spray foam insulation on the
floor acts as a vapor barrier and helps to keep the house
keeping them warm, safe, and dry, we had electrical needs. We
knew that these residents need to be charged, lit, and connected.
And again the connected came out of interviews with people
who were living on the streets. Their need to stay connected for job
interviews...for maintaining their relationships with other people
in their community...was largely based on their phone. Like
everyone else, of course, that's not surprising. But their
ability to charge the phone is greatly limited compared to yours and
So that's part of keeping them connected. And there are
two ways you could do this.
With a small
not even a micro solar. This is what we would call a Pico
solar system. So the students that worked on this designed
around Arcata's solar resource. They tried to pick an ideal
tilt for solar modules that would be installed. And they had a
basic set of loads that they designed around.
keeping a one LED light on and exhaust fan to keep moisture from
building up inside the house to maintain air quality and also phone
charging capabilities. And that is a relatively high priced
And I think our original budget was around $700 and
we realized that may not be available or
another way that you can get electrical needs met is if there was an
electrical connection at a central facility.
If there was an
electrical connection at a central facility theoretically at a much
cheaper option...residents could have a 12-volt battery that could
be charged at the central facility and then brought back to provide
electrical services at the tiny house. So that was another
option and a lower cost option than providing a small solar
HERE FOR PART II |
On some formats (pdf) you may have to paste web
addresses into your
Arcata City Council 12-6-17
by AHHA Board Members
of AHHA Board Presentation
Questions by City
Answers by AHHA,
(No illustations for Part II yet. Regret not able
to insert graphics in
Part II due to some technical and
But PART II provides
transcriptions (checked against video). Revealing